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Catechism Buzz: the Remedy before the Malady

23 March 2011 by Matt Gumm

Q. 12. What are the decrees of God?

A. God’s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will, whereby, from all eternity, he has, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained: Whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men.

God's control of the universe is so precise and so complete that He has, from the beginning of time, ordered and arranged everything that ever happens in such a way as to bring Himself glory.

This should not surprise us; God would not be God if this wasn't true. But it is still staggering, both in its overall scope and in its implications to finite creatures.

For instance, when we look at marriage, we see something not only designed for man's good, but also something that God instituted from the beginning as an institutional picture of our relationship with Him. The Mosaic Law has many functions—as an indication of God's character; as a set of rules for the good of God's people; as ordinances to mark them out from the surrounding nations; as a tutor to show people their own sinfulness; and as a foreshadowing of the fulfillment and salvation in Jesus Christ. No doubt I've even left something important out of this list. But all of this is intentional on the the part of God.

This idea also transforms statements like "God has a (master) plan" from empty platitudes trotted out when we are at a loss for what to say to genuine statement of faith and trust in an infinite God who is worthy of belief even when we can't see and understand the ends He has ordained.

It is in this God, and Him only, that we find hope for a remedy of all of the injustice we see around us: crime, poverty, and every form of social injustice. In Him, and Him only, can we entrust the disposition of the those who die in the womb, and those who, because they lack proper congnitive abilities, will never be able to express repentance and faith in a traditional way. This is a God of whom we can say "though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."