Today I'll be presenting a lesson on the doctrine of God's providence to my Jr. High class. I wanted to post it here so that it might be available to anyone else who may like to use or adapt it. (Here is a printable teacher's lesson. You can get the student guide here.)
In our study of creation we said that there is a supreme God who is intimately interested in his creation. The doctrine of providence explains the interaction that this God has with it.
As the text explained, God’s providence is explained two ways: His governing and sustaining.
1. What do we mean when we say that God in his providence sustains all his creation?
2. What do we mean when we say that God in his providence governs his creation?
In the realm of the sea we remember Jonah's flight from the Lord. God caused the tempest and the whale to come right at the very moment when it was needed. You can also think about how the Lord holds the waters back and keeps them from drowning the land (Proverbs 8:29; Psalm 104:9)
When it comes to the realm of the land, we can think of the perfect degree of gravity. If gravity were slightly stronger, we would not be able to grow.
Regarding the realm of the sky... Planes are aerodynamically designed according to the “laws of nature” (i.e. God's faithful providential working) so as to keep their flight. If these were to change slightly, then the plane would drop on your head.
3. God’s providence should make us…
a. Admire Him: His power to uphold is amazing, especially given the fact that we should be robed of the very air we breathe!
b. Pray and depend upon him, i.e. seek his blessing: We have the habit of praying before meals. This is because we recognize that it is not food that nourishes or medicines that heal. These are simply instruments that God uses when he wishes. Remember, the same quail that fed the Israelites in the wilderness was the same quail that killed thousands of them. (Numbers 11:33)
c. Keep our peace: grumbling and complaining was a grievous sin for the people in the wilderness (the cause for the quail poisoning). We must learn not to murmur when supposed bad things happen to us. If we miss a shot in a basketball game or see loved ones die, we must not become angry at God and complain. In everything he is working out his wise and holy plan.
d. Believe: All things work together for our good. “Behind a cloudy providence, there hides a smiling face”
e. Be courageous!: Stonewall Jackson was said to be fearless in battle. This is because he understood that the bullets were directed by the very hand of God. He knew that not one of them could touch him until it was ordained of God.
The Jews were not to fear the Assyrians when they marched against Jerusalem. God had said that they would be safe. Though the army was imposing, and imminent they never touched the Israelites. As a matter of fact, God afflicted them and caused many of them to fall.
f. Thankful: This goes along with not grumbling and complaining. If God is providing in his provide-ence, then we should be ready to voice our humble thankfulness for all his works, no matter how bad they may seem to us.
Look at Job. After all that happened to him, he would not raise his voice against God. Instead he said, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. The name of the Lord is to be praised."
Kindled Fire is dedicated
to the preaching and teaching ministry of
Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.