God’s providence is bound up in His work as the Creator. Even though many people live as deists, the Lord did not simply create the universe and then step aside to let it run its course. According to the doctrine of providence, the Almighty not only made all things, He also sustains all things. Our Triune God “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3).
God’s continued sustenance reminds us that all things exist only because He wills it. The universe is not self-existent; it derives its being from the Lord and would cease to exist if the impossible happened and God ceased to be. Consider this music analogy. The sound of a trumpeter’s note is created when he blows into the trumpet and then determines how long the note will last. Conceivably, the note he creates could be sustained forever if he never runs out of breath. God is like this trumpeter, only far greater. He never has to breathe, and He sustains His note (creation) forever.
In addition to sustaining all things, the doctrine of providence teaches us that the Lord governs all things. Typically, God’s governance is in view when we discuss providence, and to better understand this concept we will spend the next several days in study. Today we will introduce two important features of God’s providence.
First, God’s governance is permanent. Human kingdoms rise and fall, and our leaders come and go, but the Lord’s reign will never end. Today’s passage teaches this plainly when it speaks of God holding in derision any who would be foolish enough to think they can overthrow Him (Ps. 2:2–4).
Secondly, the governing providence of God is sovereign. We too often conceive of the Lord as a “cosmic bell-hop” who exists only to fulfill our requests. However, the Creator sits over us in authority. He issues commands, and He expects us to obey. God is not about the business of issuing invitations that can be turned down without any consequences. When the Gospel is set before us, the Lord commands us to repent and believe (Acts 17:30–31). We bow to Christ as Savior; we do not merely “accept Jesus into our hearts.”
Most of us will offer a prayer of thanksgiving every time we sit down to eat a meal. While it is good to thank the Lord, we should also remember that we depend on Him not only for our food but also for every breath we take. It is only by God’s will that any of us are alive. Take time to meditate on this tremendous truth and thank our Father that He preserves the universe. Trust Him to sustain you in all things today.