"The Way of G-d"
Part 2: “Divine Providence”
Ch. 1: “Divine Providence in General”
“Divine Providence” is usually taken to be the way G-d sustains the universe
and guides its destiny-- which it is, in fact. But we’ll find ourselves also
discussing the befuddling issues of reward and punishment, and why good
people suffer. What does that have to do with Divine Providence?
It comes down to this. We humans have a unique relationship with G-d. For
unlike any other being, mankind alone interacts with G-d at every turn in
this world. And our deeds are bound to His deeds on every level. So much so
in fact that we’re capable of changing the course of earthly events-- and
thus of G-d’s Providence itself-- with every move we make. And we
experience the consequences of all that-- i.e., we’re either “rewarded” or
“punished” for our part in it.
But that will all come in later in this section.
For now, though, Ramchal starts off by offering a profound truism that’s
capable of setting each one of us right if we’d only take it to heart.
It’s the sublime fact that everything in this world-- be it physical or
spiritual, major or minor-- only exists and continues to exist because G-d
wants it to. Inasmuch as it plays a part in G-d’s greater plan.
But not only is that true of the people, places, and things of this world.
It’s also true of everything encompassing every person, place, and thing--
each and every component, property, and implication of everything and
everyone serves a function in the greater scheme of things.
Nothing is by accident; everything’s existence is calculated and deliberate;
and each and every thing as well as each and every one of us is a “player”
rather than an “understudy”, as it were.
After all, a purposeful G-d would never allow for anything superfluous in His
world. Everything would either have to serve His purposes or simply cease to
exist. There’s no room for happenstance in G-d’s creation.
Ramchal’s last point is that G-d thus continues to oversee each and
everything to make sure it fulfills its intended role, and to maintain those
Would that we all understood the profundity of this reality! Could anyone
knowing this ever wonder if he or she mattered ? Dare anyone take anything
for granted in light of that?
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