Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 7, 2019

“the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Today’s devotion comes from John 18:1-11.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples.  Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.  Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.  So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?”  They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.”  He *said to them, “I am He.”  And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.  So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.  Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?”  And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”  Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He;  so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”  Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear;  and the slave’s name was Malchus.  So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath;  the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”  John 18:1-11.

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Other doctrine worries about man’s alleged free-will, choice, and chance.

But, Reformed Doctrine rests in God’s providence, control, and care.

Jesus firmly trusted His Father even at the point of His arrest and though Jesus knew “all the things that were coming upon Him”.  Simply, Jesus trusted in the providence of God.

Q. 27.  What dost thou mean by the providence of God?

A.  The almighty and everywhere present power of God, whereby, as it were by His hand, He upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures;  so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by His fatherly hand. 

Q. 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by His providence doth still uphold all things?

A.  That we may be patient in adversity;  thankful in prosperity;  and that in all things which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from His love;  since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.  Heidelberg Catechism.

Article 13:  Of Divine Providence.

We believe that the same God, after he had created all things, did not forsake them, or give them up to fortune or chance, but that he rules and governs them according to his holy will, so that nothing happens in this world without his appointment:  nevertheless, God neither is the author of, nor can be charged with, the sins which are committed.  For his power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible, that he orders and executes his work in the most excellent and just manner, even then, when devils and wicked men act unjustly.  And, as to what he doth surpassing human understanding, we will not curiously inquire into, farther than our capacity will admit of;  but with the greatest humility and reverence adore the righteous judgments of God, which are hid from us, contenting ourselves that we are disciples of Christ, to learn only those things which he has revealed to us in his Word, without transgressing these limits.  This doctrine affords us unspeakable consolation, since we are taught thereby that nothing can befall us by chance, but by the direction of our most gracious and heavenly Father;  who watches over us with a paternal care, keeping all creatures so under his power, that not a hair of our head (for they are all numbered), nor a sparrow, can fall to the ground, without the will of our Father, in whom we do entirely trust;  being persuaded, that he so restrains the devil and all our enemies, that without his will and permission, they cannot hurt us.  And therefore we reject that damnable error of the Epicureans, who say that God regards nothing, but leaves all things to chance.  Belgic Confession.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul;  but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”  Matthew 10:28-31.


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