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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

December 19, 2014

God's guiding hand

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

The Germans have a proverb: "Der Mensch denkt und Gott lenkt", meaning "We think and God guides".

God has provided us with the ability to think via the "spirit in man" (1 Corinthians 2:11) which is part of our natural human composition. We can plan, reason, be creative in many ways and in so doing are far superior to animals. God has not given them a similar spirit.

And God guides the course of history so His plan is fulfilled. We see that from various scriptures, including Hebrews 11, verse 3:

"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."

The word "worlds" is translated from the Greek "aion", meaning "age," in the sense of a period of time or a dispensation. Literally verse 3 could read "ages".

The Bible mentions three ages relating to the human existence: "the world that then existed" (2 Peter 3:6), referring to the age from the Garden of Eden up to the flood; "the age to come" (Hebrews 6:5) and "this present evil age" (Galatians 1:4), meaning the time between the flood and the world tomorrow.

"Framed" also appears in Hebrews 10:5, where it is more clearly and accurately translated "prepared." It means "to complete thoroughly," "to rule" (even "overrule"), or "to order" (by God in this case). "Word" is not logos but rhema, meaning "revealed words." Finally, "made" is ginomai, which means "to generate," "to cause to be," "to happen," or "to come to pass." It is not the word normally used to indicate God is creating.

Using these definitions, we could translate the verse as, "By faith we perceive by the revealed words of God that the ages were prepared, so that the things we see come to pass not from things that appear." Those of us who walk by faith know that a great Unseen Hand guides, indeed overrules, events on this earth. This verse means that the historical events we read of in God's Word were not chance occurrences, but God was working behind the scenes to fulfill His purpose.

God will fulfill His great plan for mankind. We can have faith in that!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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