God in History

Daniel 2:20,21; Matthew 28:18
       Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings.
       And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 J. H. MERLE d’AUBIGNÉ (1794-1872): History cannot, in our day, be that lifeless series of events which the greater part of previous historians deemed it sufficient to enumerate…God must be acknowledged—God proclaimed—in history. The history of the world should purport to be annals of the Supreme King…In all the movements of nations, there is a living principle which emanates from God. God is present on the vast stage on which the generations of men successively appear…Strange! This interposition of God in human affairs, which even Pagans had recognized, men reared amid the grand ideas of Christianity treat as superstition.

 JOHN BROWN (of Haddington) (1722-1787): Often we read history as atheists or diests, rather than as Christians. To read of events, without observing God in them, is to read as atheists; to read, and not observe how all events conduce to carry on the work of redemption, is to read as deists.

 OLIVER CROMWELL (1599-1658): What are all histories but God manifesting Himself?

 JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): All events are governed by the secret counsel of God…He governs heaven and earth by His providence, and regulates all things in such a manner that nothing happens but according to His counsel.

 ALEXANDER CARSON (1776-1844): In the history of the deliverance of the Jews through the exaltation of Esther we have the whole history of the world in miniature―the book of Esther is the History of Providence. In the inspired account which we have here of an interesting portion of Jewish history, we have an alphabet, through the judicious use of which we may read all the events of every day, of every age, and nation. This is a Divine key which will open all the mysteries of Providence. It is God’s commentary on all that He has done and all that man has done since the finishing of the works of creation…Every step we advance in this wonderful history, we see a display of an overruling Providence.
      The book of Esther is a book of wonders without a miracle…It gives us a series of wonders in producing danger and deliverance, yet the means employed are so much in the ordinary course of nature, that a careless reader scarcely perceives the hand of the Lord. Every event appears the natural and obvious result of the situation in which it is produced, but to create and combine these situations is as truly a work of Divine wisdom and power, as to create the world, or to fix the laws of nature. It is thus that God rules the world; He is continually working, yet blind men perceive Him not. Nature or chance is worshipped instead of Him, whose power is necessary to the life, motion, and existence of every being…In the book of Esther the Christian may learn to refer every occurrence in the world to the counsels of God, and to behold Him ruling with absolute sway, amidst all the confusion of human agency, over all the purposes and actions of men and devils. How unsearchable are His counsels in the government of the world! Men are His enemies, they hate Him, and disobey Him; yet in all their plans and actions they fulfill His will…men think, and resolve, and act for themselves; yet they fulfill the plans of Jehovah, as much as the sun, moon, and stars. His very enemies in opposing Him, are made the instruments of serving Him.

 JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): Observe, that often God has one design, and men another; and that God will have His design to stand, and infrustrably to take effect. When some would design to shame His people, He will have them honoured. [This] serves to comfort God’s people when they are in their lowest condition, and when their enemies are in highest power; our Lord is driving on His design, and making His and their enemies to fulfill it. Pilate and the chief priests, with the scribes and Pharisees, are putting Christ to death; the multitude are crying, “Crucify him,” and preferring a robber to Him. But, in all this, they were fulfilling what God had before determined to be done (Acts 4:26-28); which we say is a matter of great consolation, both as to our own particular case, and as to God’s general guiding of the world, and especially of His Church therein.

 ALEXANDER CARSON: How consoling is this view of Providence to the believer! When he looks around him he sees everywhere men trampling on the laws of God, and openly putting dishonour on Him [but] Jehovah is executing His purposes even through the wickedness of men and devils―This is a depth we cannot fathom; but it is a truth necessary for the honour of the character of God; and one which the Scriptures leave no room for doubt. The sin and misery that are on the earth, the endless perdition of wicked men and devils, are subjects of melancholy consideration to the man of God; but let him be consoled with the thought that Jehovah worketh all things according to the counsels of His own will.

 MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): The Christian sees God in the events of history. There is a vision possible to the eye of faith that no-one else has.

 JAMES DURHAM: Therefore, let us stay our faith here, that our Lord is still working in all these confusions. And when matters are turned upside down to human appearance, our blessed Lord is not nonplussed and at a stand when we are; He knows very well what He is doing, and will make all things most certainly, infallibly, and infrustrably to work for His own glory, and for the good of His people.

 C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): When the history of the church is written, there will be nothing on the page but God.

 J. H. MERLE d’AUBIGNÉ: Who is Jesus Christ, if He be not God in History?

  C. H. SPURGEON: Christ is the great central fact in the world’s history. To Him everything looks forward or backward. All the lines of history converge upon Him.

 JOHN CALVIN: Certainly if we are to believe what our eyes see, then the kingdom of Christ seems to be on the verge of ruin. But [the] promise that Christ will never be dragged from His throne but that He will lay low all His enemies banishes us from all fear.

 C. H. SPURGEON: The times are safe in our Redeemer’s management; He is mightier than the devil, the Pope, the infidel, and the ritualist, all put together. All glory be to Him who has all power in earth and heaven.


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