By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
The holy Baal Shem Tov was explaining the concept of Divine Providence to his students. Everything down to the smallest particle is under His watchful eye. “The whole world is filled with His glory.” “There is no place void of Him.” They were having a difficult time, comprehending, how such a great G-d could be concerned with the smallest speck in the universe.
The Baal Shem Tov decided to make a demonstration. They all went outside, and he instructed his students to follow the first leaf to get blown off the tree. As it fell to the ground, they followed it to the curb of the road. Lying underneath the leaf, was a worm being baked by the sun.
The Baal Shem Tov explained, that from the six days of creation, it was already designed and predestined for this leaf, from that tree, to fall off at this moment, and be blown by the wind to shield this worm.
If G-d where a finite being, little unimportant things would be less important than big and significant things. However, since G-d is infinite, whether something is big or small to us, to G-d, they both have the same impact and significance. Everything in the universe as far as their creation is concerned, has the same worth before G-d.
Therefore, when a person sees or hears something, no matter whether it seems significant or not, to G-d before whom all is the same, this is being specifically orchestrated, for this person to see or hear at this moment. Divine providence, i.e. divine influence, is the root and cause of this occurrence, so that in one way or the other, G-ds purpose for creating the world at large and this person in particular, should have the opportunity to come closer to the Divine purpose and perfection it was intended and created for.
In the book of proverbs, King Solomon says, “G-d prepares the footsteps of a person, and man, what does he understand of (G-ds) ways.” Every step a person takes, G-d is the one behind it, He, has prepared everything for this step to be taken, giving strength at this moment, to this person, to employ and exercise, in order to fulfill the divine purpose behind that moment. Imagine the huge responsibility!
And if a person claims, it’s too difficult – There are many questions to be asked regarding the times or the place, remember the end of the above quoted verse, “and man what does he (can he) understand of (the infinite ways) of G-d.” The facts remain. What G-d intentionally placed on your plate, this is precisely what is right for you at this moment.
In the book of Psalms King David says, “it is from G-d that a man’s footsteps are established, and it is his (this person’s) path that (G-d) desires.” Every person is a messenger of Divine Providence, to utilize the strength and good health a person is granted, to promote the reason why we were granted the gift of life. The freedom of choice to use each moment appropriately is in the hands of every person. When he chooses to exercise his free choice and make use of the moment in the proper way, “G-d will select and desire the ways of this person.”
Although, everything inherently has equal importance before G-d, however because G-d proclaimed, I will favor those who follow my dictates, this person becomes more prominent in the eyes of G-d for blessings and favorable attention.
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