Predestination in Psalm 139?


#1

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:16

Can someone help me please understand this passage?

Thanks, God Bless!


#2

I think this refers both to God’s foreknowledge, and to the mystery of divine predestination and of our role in God’s plan. :slight_smile:


#3

Predestination is definitely one of the Church’s teachings. What the Church does not teach is “double predestination” in which God predestines some to hell, or destruction. Double predestination is an innovation of the reformation, and runs counter to both God’s mercy and His justice. From the catechism:

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.

2012 “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him . . . For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

This subject is also touched on in sections 257, 1007, 2782 and 2823.


#4

Wouldn’t “predestination” simply mean that God knows, as in God is Omniscient?

Are you saying that “one of the Church’s teachings” is that God is only “partly Omniscient”?


#5

I think what the Church is saying that in Adam all will fall… “All have sinned and fallen short of the Law” and God has put forth Christ as a sacrifice for the saving of all knowing some will come to grace and some will not. Those who do however cannot come to grace apart from the Spirit and those who reprobate themselves do so in spite of God’s grace given to them.

Romans 1 17 For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man lives by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: 19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable. 21 Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God or given thanks: but became vain in their thoughts. And their foolish heart was darkened.

And so God in His foreknowledge predestines those who will be saved to be saved but those who won’t receive the call nevertheless and so are without excuse. But this is not because God did not know they would fall from grace or reject it altogether.

God Bless


#6

I asked, “Wouldn’t “predestination” simply mean that God knows, as in God is Omniscient?”

Do you think that how “predestination” is spoken of in the bible that this could be something to point to concerning the claim of God being Omniscient?

This seems to be what you are saying, is it?

Also besides this pointing to God being Omniscient, couldn’t this also point to God having some kind of preconceived Plan?

In other words, that God is not just winging it but that God has a Plan and has had a Plan since before creation and that God becoming One of us is not just a part of God’s Plan but the pivotal point of God’s Plan.


#7

The destination is ours, even our choice, while the knowledge is God’s.

Nope. See above.


#8

I thank God that God Is God and we’re not and that it is God’s Plan and not ours.


#9

From Simon and Garfunkel:

“God only knows. God makes his plan.
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man”


#10

As in the “details”.


#11

I think it is logical to think that God’s knowledge is tied up with predestination and I also think it is Biblical given that St Paul says that those who He foreknew He also predestined. But this affirmation does not overthrow the clearly Biblical assertion that man is also free. The Bible holds both truths in tension and I think we confess them both even if we don’t understand exactly how that could be.

Of course we worship a God who knows the sparrows and the hairs on our heads so of course, however I think it also helpful to remember what St Thomas Aquinas said in that we cannot conceive of any attribute of God that overthrows any other attribute of God. This is the mistake the Calvinists make, they insist on the holiness of justice of God being His defining characteristics and set aside man’s freedom and God’s love in favor of a simplified construct that fits neatly into logical categories. But we cannot do that and remain faithful to the God of the Bible because the Bible does not do that.

Of course God has a plan, and part of that plan is man’s freedom to choose. So when God tells Adam to not eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil He seriously means don’t eat it. The Calvinists and Lutherans to a lesser extent fudge on God’s seriousness when the Bible declares something happens other than what God commands or what God says will happen (such as when God tells Moses that He will destroy the people and Moses intercedes and God appears to change His mind).

Does the omniscient God know that Adam will fall even though it is against His will and He could have prevented it, yes of course. So is it therefore God’s will that Adam should fall and so Adam is off the hook morally? No of course not. Because God also willed Adam to be free. Free to choose, free to fail, and in that freedom comes the certain knowledge of Adam’s rebellion and God’s certain plan of redemption thus you have John telling us in the Apocalypse that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.

We have no logical categories for this to fit in and so many protestant groups will try to erase this verse or that verse to make the Bible say other than it does. But the Church has long held that we are to believe and hold with the tension that Scripture teaches which is why Pelagius, Jansen, Gottscalc, Luther, Calvin, and Cassianus were all condemned because they try everything to make the God of Scripture somehow a little less than what the Bible declares Him to be and so more acceptable to to human understanding.

But what does Scripture say most clearly about God, that He is not a man nor is He like a man. Remember we are made in His image, and so yes we confess His omniscience, that he has foreknowledge and a plan and the saints are predestined to salvation, and man is free and whether or not he is saved will be based on his own choices and how he responds to grace.

God Bless


#12

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