35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:35–37)
What do we mean by the phrase the providence of God? You probably noticed that a variation of the word providence is contained in the title of today’s blog.
Providence, means to see in advance, beforehand and/or to provide for. It means that God is not a mere spectator in the world’s events. Rather than just being the creator of the universe, the Lord is also the sustainer of the same. The universe, and all its inhabitants, are not only dependent upon God for its origin but also for its continued existence.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes that, “The central point of the doctrine of providence is the stress on God’s government of the universe. He rules His creation with absolute sovereignty and authority. He governs everything that comes to pass, from the greatest to the least. Nothing ever happens beyond the scope of His sovereign, providential government. He makes the rain to fall and the sun to shine. He raises up kingdoms and brings them down. He numbers the hairs on our head and the days of our life.”
Therefore, there are no chance events. There is no such thing as chance, luck or fate. With respect to Mary and the virgin birth of Christ, it was not by chance that God had Gabriel visit her with the news that she would conceive and give birth to the Messiah. It was also not be chance how God would bring this event to pass.
In response to Mary’s questions concerning how this virgin birth would occur, Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” There are three key phrases Luke used to describe this miraculous event.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” The virgin birth will be the result of a divine act by God the Holy Spirit. The first person of the Trinity, God the Father, will direct the third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit, to participate in the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, God the Son.
To come upon means to arrive or to cause to happen. The Greek word ἐπέρχομαι (eperchomai) refers to the general conception of life. The Holy Spirit would miraculously cause the conception of life to occur within the womb of the Virgin Mary.
“The power of the Most High will overshadow you.” The word power (δύναμις; dynamis) means ability or supernatural energy. This power and energy originates from and is solely sourced in the Most High, which is name for God stressing His majesty and supreme authority. This creative, active and productive power solely belonging to God would overshadow (ἐπισκιάζω; episkiazo) Mary and resembling the Shekinah glory of God in the Old Testament mysteriously conceive the virgin birth of the Christ.
“Therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” The result of this miraculous work of the Holy Spirit is that the Holy One who is to be born of Mary will be the incarnate Son of God. To be called the Holy One means One who is separate, a cut apart or a cut above.
Jesus Christ would be transcendentally separate from other human beings. He would be different in unique way. He would be consecrated and set apart unto purity. He would be inherently separate from sin but would become the object of God the Father’s wrath by bearing the curse of the sinner’s sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Gabriel concluded his message to Mary by informing her of what God was doing in the life of her relative Elizabeth. She too would bear a child who would be intricately involved in the life of the child Mary would conceive and deliver. The conclusion is that nothing is impossible with God. He is in control.
Both pregnancies were within the providential plan and design of God. So also is everything which occurs in our own lives. He still is in providential control.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!