For most of us, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “government” is the government of elected officials that oversee our federal, state, and local communities. These governments seem to be ever-changing between republicans, democrats, and the occasional independent candidate. Despite the varying opinions that people have regarding the laws that get passed or the taxes that get charged to the citizenry, these leaders do have an important role to play in our society. We sinners cannot be governments unto ourselves…if we tried, we would fall into anarchy. They are God’s ministers of justice in our midst and they play an important role in keeping society functioning.
Yet, to look only at the various civil governments that have been established over us is short-sighted. God also governs all of his creation by his eternal counsel and providence. By the way, this is one reason that we, as Christians, reject what is called “the Watchmaker” analogy. That would be the view that God brought creation into being (like a clock), wound it up, and then let it go on its own according to natural laws. Ultimately, such is the view of the Deist, but not of the Christian.
For the Biblical Christian, God not only made everything that is, but everything that takes place has its origins in His will, His design, and His plan. God truly orders all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians) and nothing that is can be apart from his design and plan. Indeed, he holds all things together in Christ (Colossians 1:17). Were God to cease governing his creation, the creation itself would blow apart into a million-billion-trillion bits and pieces and would instantly cease to exist. And this government is eternal in the sense that it is rooted in a God who is eternal and has a plan for all he has made.
All too often we do not give honor where honor is due, when we look at the ordinary things of the universe. We see things that look like cause and effect occurrences and treat them as if they are simply explainable by the laws of science. Yet, the laws of science are nothing more than descriptive of what we observe. Furthermore, what we observe is governed by the will of a reasonable and orderly God. So, we should say that the laws of science, rightly understood, are little more than explanations of the orderly government of God over his creation. And, when rightly understood, it ought to drive us to praising God for the order found in this world of ours. Such is the proper (and intended) secondary result of God’s eternal government.