The Unequal Distributions of Providence -- a Question
2 Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth…

If there be a providence, how come those unequal distributions to happen in the world?


1. Is it not a high presumption for ignorance to judge God's proceedings?

2. God is sovereign of the world. Why should a finite understanding prescribe measures and methods to an infinite Majesty?

3. God is wise and just, and knows how to distribute. If we question His providence, we question His wisdom. We see the present dispensations, but are we able to understand the internal motives?

4. There is a necessity for some seeming inequality, at least, in order to the good government of the world. The afflictions of good men are a foil to set off the beauty of God's providence in the world.

5. Unequal distributions do not argue carelessness. A father may give one child a gayer coat than he gives another, yet he extends his fatherly care and tenderness over all.

6. Upon due consideration the inequality will not appear so great as the complaint of it. A running sore may lie under a purple robe. As some are stripped of wealth and power, so they are stripped of their incumbrances they bring with them.


1. It is not well with bad men here.

(1) They are tortured by their own lusts.

(2) They have a great account to make, and know not how to make it (Luke 16:2).

(3) They are worse for what they have (Psalm 69:22; Proverbs 1:32).

(4) In the midst of their prosperity they are reserved for justice (Exodus 9:16; Psalm 37:2).

2. Neither is it bad here with goodmen.

(1) Adversity cannot be called absolutely an evil.

(2) God never leaves good men so bare but He provides for their necessities (Psalm 37:5; Psalm 84:11).

(3) The little good men have is better than the highest enjoyments of wicked men (Psalm 37:16; Proverbs 16:8).

(4) No righteous man would in his sober wits be willing to make an exchange of his smartest afflictions for a wicked man's prosperity, with all the circumstances attending it.

(5) It is not ill with the righteous in afflictions because they have high advantages by them.

(a) Sensible experiments of the tender providence of God over them (Psalm 37:19, 39; 2 Timothy 4:17; 2 Corinthians 1:5; 1 Peter 4:13, 14).

(b) Inward improvements, opportunities to manifest more love to God, more dependence on Him, the perfection of the soul (1 Timothy 5:5; Job 22:10).

(c) Future glory.

(d) Suffering of good men for the truth highly glorifies the providence of God (1 Peter 4:16).

(e) This argument is stronger for a day of reckoning after this life than against providence.

(S. Charnock, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

WEB: For the eyes of Yahweh run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars."

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