(Samuel Davies, "Divine Government--the Joy of Our World")
"The LORD reigns! Let the earth be glad!" Psalm 97:1
We are exposed to numberless accidental and unforeseen dangers, which we can neither prevent nor counter. Sickness and death may proceed from a thousand unsuspected causes. Our friends, our estates, and, in short, all our earthly enjoyments--may be torn from us by a variety of accidents. We walk, as it were, in the dark, and may tread on remediless dangers before we are aware.
"But the LORD reigns! Let the earth be glad!" All contingent events are at His disposal and under His sovereign control. The smallest things are not beneath the notice of His providence, and the greatest are not above it! Those diseases and misfortunes which seem to happen 'by chance'--are commissioned by the Lord of all! And those which result evidently from 'natural causes'--are sent by His almighty will. He says to one, "Go!" and it goes; and to another, "Come!" and it comes!
He orders the devastations that are made by the most raging elements!
If flames lay our houses in ashes--they are kindled by His breath!
If hurricanes sweep through our land, and carry desolation along with them--they but perform His sovereign will, and can do nothing beyond it!
His hand hurls the lightning bolt, and directs it where to strike!
An arrow or a bullet shot at a venture in the heat of battle--is carried to its mark by divine direction!
How wretched a world would this be--were it not under the wise management of divine Providence! If 'chance' or 'blind fate' were its rulers--what desolation would crowd upon us every moment! We would soon be crushed in the ruins of a fallen world. Every wind that blows--might blast us with death! And fire and water would mingle in a blended chaos, and bury us in their destruction!
But so extensive is the care of Providence, that even the sparrows may find safety in it! And we cannot lose so much as a hair of our heads, without God's permission! Matthew 10:29-31. And how much more then, are we His redeemed children under His loving guardianship and direction!