Part 2: "Divine Providence"
Chapter 5: "How Divine Providence Works"
Paragraphs 1 and 2
Till now we've been discussing the rules G-d Himself set up for our
interactions with Him, and His with us. From now to the end of the chapter
we'll touch upon the mechanisms He set up to implement those interactions.
But let's first cite the fact that G-d interacts with the world on two levels
overall (though there are an infinite number of offshoots). There's His
awareness of everything, and His reaction to it. We'll explore the former
here and expand on the latter next time.
We're taught that G-d is aware of absolutely everything, and all believers
accept that as a "given". After all, G-d is perfect, so He simply can't be
unaware of anything, by definition; for how could a Perfect Being lack for
information? But the implications of G-d's awareness are staggering.
First off, His knowing *everything* implies that He knows each and every
thing and being that ever was, is, and is to be. It also implies that He
knows every detail of everything that ever was, is, and is to be; every
connection between each detail; where one detail ends and another begins;
every precedent and every eventuality to each and every detail -- as well as
every detail that *could* have come about had a free-agent (i.e., each one of
us) done something other than what he'd actually done ... along with all the r
amifications of that, in the present and onto the future.
He's also aware of all that from the inside, out and the outside, in; from
side to side, top to bottom, within and without. He's aware of the visible
and invisible, potential and actual, source and outcome as well as outcome to
But not only does He see it -- He *knows* it. Which is to say that He's there
with it -- with everything -- rather than looking down upon or across to it
The other point to be made, though, is that despite the all-encompassing
nature of His scope and knowledge, G-d still and all reacts to things as they
are at the time, and on their own. After all, otherwise no one could be
scrutinized on his or her own. For at bottom we're each products of the
entire past and future. Yet we're also ourselves, in our own beings right
here and now. So, again, G-d reacts to us as we are at any given moment.
This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel,
and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.
Subscribe to Ramchal and receive the class via e-mail.