By John Gipson
The word providence is often on
our lips, but we may not have a clear conception of
The idea is forethought. It comes
from a combination of words: before and to think.
Hence, forethought. The word is inserted into the
New Testament by a certain orator named
Tertullus who took the lead in bringing charges
against the apostle Paul. In an
effort to praise Governor Felix, Tertullus said,
“Since through you we enjoy much peace and since by
your provision (forethought, providence), most
excellent Felix, reforms are introduced on behalf of
this nation, in every way and everywhere we accept
this with all gratitude” (Acts 24:2-3). In the eyes
of Tertullus, Felix was quite a man. The nation had
been blessed by his providence. Felix had looked
ahead, planned, and brought to pass needed reforms.
Whatever the providence of Felix
might have been, it is nothing compared to the
forethought of God who planned our redemption from
the foundation of the world.
We see God’s providence
throughout the realm of nature, in the guidance of
the nations, and in the deliverance of Israel from
bondage into the promised land.
Benjamin Franklin said, “The
longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of
the this truth, that God governs in the affairs of
man; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground
without his notice, is it probable that an empire
can rise without his aid?
We see God’s providence in
individual lives: In David guarded from so many
perils; in Joseph who could review the past and tell
his brothers that they weren’t responsible for
bringing him to Egypt—it was the forethought and
planning of God.
He who is truly thoughtful finds
providence not only in the history of the world, but
in his own personal and family history.
He therefore has confidence in
the future. If God sustained the Israelites in the
wilderness so that they lacked nothing, can’t He
provide for us? We need the same conviction with
which Abraham spoke to his son, Isaac when he said,
“God will provide . .
- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the
Calvert City Church of Christ, Calvert City,
KY. Lance Cordle preaches for the
congregation. He may be contacted through the