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The Lord of Providence

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Recognizing God's Providential Power in the unfolding of history.

Text: Luke 7:11-17
Date: 07/10/2022, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 67

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Shortly after healing the centurion's servant, Jesus takes a trip to the tiny hamlet of Nain, located in the Jezreel valley near the border of Samaria. The Providence of God was manifest as soon as Jesus arrived at the gates of the town because a funeral procession was coming out of the city. Even though we will keep the overall context of this story in mind, our focus for this message will be on just this Providential meeting. We will realize that none of this happened by accident, but that God Himself ordained and arranged this "divine appointment" by the power of His decretive will. After working our way through the text, we will discuss how important it is for Christians and the church to maintain a sense of God's Providence and thereby learn from the many lessons of history. Finally, we will use the Lord's Supper as a tangible example of how the sacraments and doctrines of the church are grounded and enriched by an understanding of history as revealed to us by Christ-- our Lord of Providence.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 7:11-17.
A. Context
1. Luke the historian, Luke 1:3-4.
2. Revisiting the centurion's story.
B. The encounter at Nain.
1. Setting the scene, vs. 11.
a. Chronologically
b. Geographically
c. The crowd with Jesus.
2. A Providential encounter, vs. 12.
a. At the gates of Nain.
i. The purpose of the gate, Ruth 4:1,2.
ii. A place for "unclean" things, Luke 5:32.
iii. An example of Providence, Psa. 103:12.
iv. Ignoring Providence.
b. The Providential meeting of two crowds.
i. The size of the crowds.
ii. The topography of the encounter.
iii. Contrasting demeanors.
iv. Death encounters Life!
v. Death has the "high ground".
c. The dire circumstances.
i. A premature death.
ii. An only son, Jer. 6:26, Zech. 12:10.
iii. An abandoned mother, Ruth 1:5.
C. Interpretation
1. A work of Providence.
a. Probing the nature of the encounter.
i. Was this a chance encounter?
ii. Was this a "divine appointment"?
b. Amazing intricacy.
c. On Providence and Redemptive History.
2. Providence that allows suffering.
III. Application
A. When Providence is ignored.
B. The history of Communion.
C. Losing the sense of history.
IV. Conclusion: Living "Coram Deo".

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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