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March 8 – LD 10, Day 4: God’s “Fatherly Hand” Also Sends the “Bad”

Read: Matthew 10

One thing often misunderstood is the statement concerning God’s “Fatherly hand.” The Catechism clearly sets forth what the “Fatherly hand” of God provides. We might state simply that His Fatherly hand provides not only the “good,” but also the “bad.” Many object to the idea that God would send anything “bad” on His people. Surely the “Fatherly hand” provides that which is good (sunshine, fruitful years, health, and prosperity). Should we not find some other cause for the “bad” than the Fatherly hand of God? Is He not a loving and kind God? Would a loving God send some terrible disease leading to my death? Would He cause dreadful sorrow and grief for dear ones left behind?

But consider the figure well. How did your earthly father deal with you? Did he only give you what you wanted? Were there no occasions that he punished or chastised you in your rebellion? One young lad was heard to cry out as his father spanked him, “Daddy, you don’t love me.” Yet, upon reflection, one must confess that parents discipline their children because they love them.

We see this in God’s work. The “good” things He sends upon the wicked are sent in His wrath. All things He sends upon His people, He sends in His love. Danger is that we think the “good” things we receive because of what we are or what we have done. But it is not so. The “good” things the righteous receive are given to be used to God’s glory and in mercy for Jesus’ sake. In fact, it is a very great responsibility for the Christian to receive much wealth or good health. Why? It is because he deserved none of these things but now has the calling to use all to the glory of Father in heaven.

Are the “bad” things indeed bad? Not when viewed in the light of Scripture. In the first place, we must never consider it as God’s punishment for our sins. The punishment for our sins was borne on the cross by Christ.

But secondly, we must understand that adversity can both instruct and correct the Christian. He can often fall into sin. In the way of adversity (as parents correct their children), God corrects His people. But also, it is God’s way of instruction, turning us away from the earthly and temporal, and directing our eyes heavenward.

Many Christians, even in their most difficult trials, state emphatically, “God is good.”

And so it is.

Last modified on 07 March 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 8-March
Van Baren, Gise J.

Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)

Ordained: October, 1956

Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994

Emeritus: 1999


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