Question 10c – What are the decrees of God?
“declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” – Isa 46:10 ESV
Declaring the end from the beginning, The end of the Jewish state, both as a church, and a commonwealth, from the first settlement of it in the times of Moses, and by him, Deut 32:29. The end of the world, and all things in it, as early as the times of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, Jude 1:14. The end and issue of every event, at least of many very remarkable and momentous ones, before they came to pass; and particularly things relating to Christ, the beginning and end; the fulfilling end of the moral law for righteousness; the scope and design of the ceremonial law, to which that tended, and in which it issued; as well as the end of the whole Scripture, of the prophecies and promises of it: and this end was declared very early, and spoken of by all the prophets that were from the beginning of the world; and which is a full proof of the omniscience of God, and so of his true deity, Luke 1:70.
And from the ancient times the things that are not yet done; that were not at this time done, though they are since: such as the captivity of the Jews, and their return from it; also the incarnation of Christ, his obedience and sufferings, and the glory that should follow; his resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God; the work of redemption by him; the effusion of the Spirit; the spread of the Gospel among the Gentiles, and their conversion; and others which are now not yet done; as the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, and the bringing in the fullness of the Gentiles; the glory of the church in those times as to knowledge, peace, purity, power, and authority; the destruction of antichrist; and the second coming of the Messiah; all which have been declared from ancient times; and as the former have been accomplished, there is reason to believe the latter will:
saying, my counsel shall stand; the purposes and decrees of God, which are within himself, wisely formed by him, eternal and not frustrable; and which shall stand, or be accomplished, being the counsels of him who is all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful, unchangeable, true, and faithful; whether they respect the providence of God in relation to the world in general, and the government of it, or to particular persons, and their affairs, from the time of their birth to their death; or whether they respect his grace and goodness in the salvation of men; such as his purpose according to election, the covenant of his grace, redemption by Christ, the effectual calling, and eternal glorification; all which, as they are according to the will and counsel of God; stand firm and sure, and shall have their full accomplishment; see Ps 33:11.
And I will do all my pleasure; as he has done in creation, and does in providence, so he has done, can do, and does in grace, in predestination and redemption, and in the effectual calling. And particularly this may refer to the deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus, a type of Christ, and deliverance by him. [Gill]
“Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?” – Lam 3:37 ESV
Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass? Or, “who that says this shall be, and it cometh to pass?” or, “who is he that saith this shall come to pass?” (i) this, or that, or the other thing, he wills and desires, and his heart is set upon:
when the Lord commandeth it not? has not willed and decreed it, but determined the contrary; for nothing escapes his knowledge and foreknowledge; or can resist his will; or control his power; or frustrate his councils, and counterwork his designs; whatever schemes men form to get riches, obtain honour, do mischief to others, prolong life to themselves, and perpetuate their names to posterity, being contrary to the purpose of God, never succeed; whenever they do succeed in any of the above instances, it is because God has commanded, or he has determined, it should be so; as in the instances of Joseph’s brethren, in their usage of him; and of the Jews, in the crucifixion of Christ, Prov 16:9. The Targum is, “who is the man that saith, and evil is done in the world; but because they have done what was not commanded from the mouth of the Lord?” [Gill]
Answer – The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.