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"The Way of G-d"

Part 2: "Divine Providence"
Chapter 5: "How Divine Providence Works"

Paragraph 4

Each and every agent of change (i.e., "angel") that G-d uses to react to the world has a set and steady nature of its own. And it has a sure and locked "post" which it never abandons -- unless G-d wants it to. (Many say that that's the model we're to follow in our service to G-d, as well; we too are to be sure and fixed in our beings rather than wind-driven and hesitant, and to be braced and set to do G-d's will.)

Sometimes, though, this leads to conflicts. There are specific angels given authority over trees, for instance, whose mission is to sustain them the way G-d wants them to be. On the other hand, though, there are angels given authority over wind or rain that might be "at odds" with the authority given the angels in command of trees. This arrangement obviously covers a broad and vast reach of phenomena in the universe. Suffice it to say that it's G-d alone who decides which angel's charge has dominion over the other's when they clash, and thus decides whether a particular tree succumbs to wind or rain, or not. Understand also that there are an infinite number of degrees of variance in each instance.

This paradigm doesn't only affect the physical world; it also affects the spiritual backdrop of the world we discussed earlier on (see 1:5:1-2). As such, angels aren't only assigned to overseeing the laws of nature. They also oversee the workings of reward and punishment. And these two classes of angels often come into conflict as well, since the natural world may demand one set of things to come about, while a person's deeds may demand that "things be moved around" a bit to accommodate his or her ethical stature. Again the point to be made is that it's G-d alone who determines which phenomenon acquiesces to the other and to what degree, and none of us are privy to the details.

This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel, and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.

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