Tag Archives: God’s providence

‘Determining the New Direction of History’

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(This Chalcedon editorial appeared Sept. 7, 2019.)

One of R.J. Rushdoony’s more controversial assertions was that humanism is busy killing itself, and slated for extinction. He then went on to ask what that requires us, as subjects of the Kingdom of God, to do. That question’s still here, right in front of us.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/determining-the-new-direction-of-history

Because they’re running wild, heaping up wealth and power, and generally trashing our whole civilization, it’s easy to wind up thinking Christ’s enemies are winning. But everything they, er, “achieve” hurts them even more than it hurts us. Homosexual parodies of marriage, transgenderism, and, only lately, a dalliance with the prospect of wholesale cannibalism–these are not winning game plans. They think they’re on the path to creating a global government. But all they’re creating is chaos–and in the end, they’ll choke on it.

Yes, they look like Goliath, and they scare us. But remember what happened to Goliath.


Where We’re Headed (Praise God!)

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Mark Rushdoony wrote this timely reminded of where we and our world are going. It’s a Chalcedon blog piece: “The Operation of God’s Perpetual Providence.”

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-operation-of-gods-perpetual-providence

Eschatology, he says, has got to be “our ‘big picture’ of where history is going.” And we find that information in God’s word.

For God’s providence is never turned off, He is never not on duty. He will do all the things He has said He will do, and we who are His people are, by His loving grace, a part of that. We are not orphans: we have a Father. And a place in Christ’s Kingdom.

Something to remember, in this evil age.


Psalm 46, ‘Our Refuge and Strength’

I read this Psalm this morning–Psalm 46, “God is our refute and strength”–and I want to share it with you.

God’s providence is woven into the fiber of the physical universe, sustaining it moment by moment. But He is also the Lord of Hosts, mighty in battle: and when He intervenes in history–watch out!


“No Weapon Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper”

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Esther and the Persian king

One of the hardest lessons for us to learn, in such an evil and confusing age as this, is how to walk by faith and not by sight: because if we walk only by sight, most of what we see is bad. Mark Rushdoony discussed this in his blog post yesterday.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/no-weapon-that-is-formed-against-thee-shall-prosper

The Book of Esther, in which the name of God does not appear, shows how God governs history, intervening at need. Our God created us with free will and respects it, even when our will is bent to evil: but he will not let evil prosper in the long run. As Isaiah said, “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper” (Is. 54:17).

How many times would God’s people have been wiped off the face of the earth, had He not intervened? As history, the Bible offers many examples of this truth.

And we do well to learn them.


Again! ‘King Alfred’s War Song’

I thought we could use another belt of this today.

Around the year 800, Christian England was overrun by pagans, most of them from Denmark. It was the Viking Age. They came for loot and plunder, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.

By the providence of God, Alfred, King of Wessex, overcame many defeats–one of which left him a hunted fugitive in his own land–and finally won the war. The Christians won not only peace and security: the invaders converted, settled down, and became part of the population.

We seem to be entering such a time of trial in our own day. The difference is that our heathen are home-grown, turned against us by our schools and colleges. They hate their own country and want to subject it to a “fundamental transformation”–into what, God only knows.

Defeat them and convert them. Trust in the Lord and hang tough. And, like Alfred, never give up.


Where are the Thracians?

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This is a Thracian “peltast,” a lightly armored warrior. Alexander the Great used peltasts to guard the flanks of his heavily armored phalanx. And Herodotus, writing a generation or two before Alexander, called the Thracians the second most populous nation in the world, outnumbered only by the Indians.

“Thrace” consisted of parts of northern Greece, most of modern Bulgaria, all of Turkey-in-Europe, and bits of Rumania. The Romans conquered it and made it a province: the most famous Thracian was Spartacus, the gladiator and revolutionary. Greeks, Macedonians, and Romans had Thracian warriors in their armies.

But for all their numbers, their wealth in natural resources, their craftsmanship (Thracian art objects were always in demand), and their skill and bravery in war, there is no more Thrace today, and no more Thracians. Oh, their DNA is still around, mixed in with everybody else’s–Greeks, Slavs, Turks, Bulgars, et al–but there’s no more Thracian language, culture, or polity. The ancient Thracians never got serious about setting up a state, and made only half-hearted efforts to keep a kingdom going. Maybe if they had, for the sake of self-defense, set up a king, they might have lasted longer. Or maybe not.

The point is: here was a considerable people, a populous nation, well-known throughout the ancient world, a nation that persisted for some thousand years–and it’s gone. Historians aren’t even sure how it came to disappear. It seems to have been a gradual process. Eventually we look for Thracians in the historical record, and they aren’t there anymore.

Nations require preserving. They don’t live on inertia. Where are all the nations that used to interact with Israel? Israel is still here, and has been all along. Moab, Ammon, Edom, the Philistines, Elam, Babylon, the Assyrian Empire, and the Roman Empire–they were richer and stronger and greater than Israel, but they’re gone.

If there is to be a United States of America two hundred years from now–and not just a space on a map bearing the name but nothing of the character–it will only be by God’s providence and mercy: which we would be well-advised to seek at all times, to humble ourselves before Him and stop trying to provoke Him to anger.

 


An Appreciation: Churchill

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In 1931, while visiting New York, Winston Churchill very nearly died in an auto accident.

Think about that: World War II with no Churchill. I’ve begun to re-read William Manchester’s Alone, the middle volume of his three-book biography of Churchill. It focuses on the run-up to the most catastrophic war in human history–a war which Churchill, practically alone, saw coming, saw the risks involved, and tried to move the Western world to avert calamity.

This maddeningly eccentric man, steeped in the Victorian Age with all its moral standards, all its virtues and its vices, became, at the age of 65–retirement age!–prime minister of Britain in 1940–with France fallen, the Third Reich triumphant everywhere, Stalin allied with Hitler, and the British army, minus all its heavy equipment, just barely saved from extinction by its mass evacuation at Dunkirk.

Think of a world without Churchill. Who else could have rallied Britain to fight on? Who else could have given the speeches, made the decisions, absorbed the punishment, and not only preserved his country, but led it to victory against a force that will be remembered forever as the most evil, ruthless power ever to arise in Europe? Who else could have survived a decade of political isolation, enmity, mockery, and massive disbelief of everything he said?

Churchill’s career reminds me of how a classical Japanese smith makes a peerless sword. He starts with a heap of scrap iron that no one else wants, melts and hammers it into a single rod, then folds it back upon itself and hammers it out again. Then folds, hammers, folds, hammers, over and over again, so that the steel will be in microscopically thin layers–hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of them. Heat, fold, and hammer. Heat, fold, and hammer. And at the end, much later, the product is a perfect sword that can cut through almost anything.

In Churchill’s case the smith was God, and all that folding and hammering was God’s way of forging one man into an instrument that would preserve an entire civilization. The work took many years, but God is patient.

 


God’s Stuff: Ants Gathering Food

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.  Proverbs 6:6-7

Watch these ants. Someone has spilled some grain on a stone step, and the ants have turned out in force to collect it, to bring it back to their nest and store it for future use. By the time they’re done, there won’t be a single kernel left on the stone.

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff that works a lot better than anything we humans can invent. Who trains the ants to store food against lean times to come? Who organizes them? How, without a government, without a spoken language, do they work so efficiently together?

This is God’s providence, here applied to tiny creatures which we don’t even notice unless they happen to annoy us. But He has taken thought for all His creatures, even ants.

We have resources at our command that ants can’t even imagine; and yet, if it were left up to college students who say that “Food just is!”, and doesn’t have to be carefully tended and diligently worked for… well, we’d all starve.

The ants know better, don’t they?


A Modern Miracle

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Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.    –Psalm 23:4

In Daniel 3, the Bible tells us how Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had three Jews thrown into “a burning fiery furnace” for refusing to bow to his idol. Miraculously, those three men–Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego–survived unscathed. And the king, astounded, said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (v. 25)

Fast-forward into the 20th century.

As Europe was tuning up for World War I, explorer Ernest Shackleton set out on an expedition to cross Antarctica by land. But his ship was crushed in the ice, and he and his men made a narrow escape to a desert island. There they would be sure to die, unless they were rescued.

After many hardships and extreme peril on the sea, Shackleton and two companions arrived on South Georgia Island, where they then had to hike over mountains and glaciers in hope of reaching the whaling station on the other side of the island, from whence word could be sent to summon rescuers. It was a grim and difficult march, literally a race against death.

Now let Shackleton himself tell us what happened during that march, excerpted from his book, South.

“When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us, not only across those snow-fields, but across the storm-white sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing-place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of 36 hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but afterwards Worsley said to me, ‘Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us.’ Crean confessed to the same idea. One feels ‘the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech’ in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

For two persons, let alone three, to have the same hallucination at the same time is exceedingly unlikely, and may not even be possible. So I believe this story, even as I believe the Biblical account of the miracle in Babylon.

It is not recorded that anyone was fool enough to call Shackleton a liar to his face.


Hello? Columbus?

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I haven’t seen any mention that today is Columbus Day. I guess that’s because we’re all supposed to be ashamed of it now.

A nation that detests its own history is in serious trouble.

Well, okay, we could’ve all stayed in Europe and enjoyed the religious wars, the pogroms, etc.

But by God’s sovereign providence, Columbus with three ships crossed the Atlantic Ocean and changed the world. Without that, there would be no United States of America. And if that’s something that you view as a calamity… well, no one is keeping you here against your will.

I thank God for the discovery of America and the founding of my country.

So there.


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