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Providence

Providence [N]

literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote God's preserving and governing all things by means of second causes ( Psalms 18:35 ; 63:8 ; Acts 17:28 ; Colossians 1:17 ; Hebrews 1:3 ). God's providence extends to the natural world ( Psalms 104:14 ; 135:5-7 ; Acts 14:17 ), the brute creation ( Psalms 104:21-29 ; Matthew 6:26 ; 10:29 ), and the affairs of men ( 1 Chronicles 16:31 ; Psalms 47:7 ; Proverbs 21:1 ; Job 12:23 ; Daniel 2:21 ; 4:25 ), and of individuals ( 1 Samuel 2:6 ; Psalms 18:30 ; Luke 1:53 ; James 4:13-15 ). It extends also to the free actions of men ( Exodus 12:36 ; 1 Samuel 24:9-15 ; Psalms 33:14 Psalms 33:15 ; Proverbs 16:1 ; 19:21 ; 20:24 ; 21:1 ), and things sinful ( 2 Samuel 16:10 ; 24:1 ; Romans 11:32 ; Acts 4:27 Acts 4:28 ), as well as to their good actions (Phil 2:13 ; 4:13 ; 2 co Acts 12:9 Acts 12:10 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; Galatians 5:22-25 ).

As regards sinful actions of men, they are represented as occurring by God's permission ( Genesis 45:5 ; 50:20 . Compare 1 Samuel 6:6 ; Exodus 7:13 ; 14:17 ; Acts 2:3 ; 3:18 ; Acts 4:27 Acts 4:28 ), and as controlled ( Psalms 76:10 ) and overruled for good ( Genesis 50:20 ; Acts 3:13 ). God does not cause or approve of sin, but only limits, restrains, overrules it for good.

The mode of God's providential government is altogether unexplained. We only know that it is a fact that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions; that this government is universal ( Psalms 103:17-19 ), particular ( Matthew 10:29-31 ), efficacious ( Psalms 33:11 ; Job 23:13 ), embraces events apparently contingent ( Proverbs 16:9 Proverbs 16:33 ; 19:21 ; 21:1 ), is consistent with his own perfection ( 2 Timothy 2:13 ), and to his own glory ( Romans 9:17 ; 11:36 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Providence". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .