Have you experienced the way God provides … even to the smallest detail? Some think when unexpected gifts, provisions or blessings arrive, its plain coincidence.
Personally, I do not believe in coincidence. I believe in a Sovereign God who not only rules His creation, He knows what is happening all the time, everywhere and in everyone’s life, with special attention to those whom He has saved by grace because of the Blood shed at Calvary.
It’s really fascinating how God has mapped out the pathway of life for all His children. We might take too much for granted and even step off that pathway at times, but every single need, is known by the Lord who owns our souls. Remember the difference between need and greed? At time God gives us more than we need and at times He provides less than we think we need, but He does not provide for our greed.
Just today God showed me how He provides for His children. It left me humbled and teary. The passage I refer to points to the Lord Jesus being sacrificed at Calvary but it also shows God’s provision for a time of need.
Ge 22:13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
The LORD Will Provide is Jehovah Jireh from which comes the song “Jehovah Jireh my Provider.” Did you notice that Abraham was being obedient to God’s command to sacrifice his son? As God was testing his faith, commitment and obedience, God provided for his desperate need. Now getting back to Elijah … we read:
1Ki 19:5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
One thing I did not mention yesterday when talking about Elijah’s exhaustion and depression is the fact that he had not eaten is days and after all his running (over 200 kilometers), he was starved … so hungry, so tired and so depressed that he fell asleep only to be touched by an angel waking him up and encouraging him to eat. In looking around him he found braai bread and water which he ate and drank some of. He remained exhausted and slept again. Once again:
1Ki 19:7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
He needed strength because his next journey would be 470 kilometers long taking him 40 day and nights. He travelled about 11 to 12 hours a day. Once he arrived at the Mount he found a cave to sleep in. If you glimpse over the passage to quickly you might miss that God provided Elijah’s need. Food, water and a place to sleep to be refreshed. The angel’s presence must have encouraged him spiritually. Those three things, sleep, water and food plus the angel’s presence were the Lord’s medicine for him to overcome hunger, exhaustion, psychological, emotion and spiritual depression.
But notice something important here. Like Abraham obeyed God’s command to the very end … so do Elijah. No one can expect God to provide for them when they are living in sin, refusing to follow God’s will and disobeying Him as Lord. Many complain about God being slow to answer their prayers. Others say He does not hear prayers. Many say He is unkind and unloving. Often people say God promises things in the Bible and never responds to their monetary gifts or prayer requests.
Maybe the questions that we ought to pose are: “Are these people living according to God’s will? Are they living in sin? Are they demanding things from God that He did not promise? Were they mislead by a false teacher? Were their prayers about their greed?”
One could ask many questions, yet the bottom line is … when we are not faithful to God, lacking in Biblical obedience, we cannot expect God to meet our needs let alone our greed. We need to be a people who love God’s Word and use it intentionally day by day. We need to think through what we read, praying about it to find out how to apply what we have meditated upon to our lives. In this way we will find ways to understand what God is actually saying to us. Are there sins to avoid? Are there doctrines to change? Do I grasp the message of the Bible? Do I understand the Gospel of the Cross? Do I understand the requirement to live a holy life and why God wants me to be holy?
You need to see that the food and drink we need above all is spiritual. Sadly many believers don’t want to spent time in the Word and Prayer. When this happens, you slide spiritually, your morals drop and sin abounds. This was the problem with God’s people at the time of Ezekiel … but he was different:
Eze 2:8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” 9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. 3:1 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Perhaps the message on the scroll was different to what you and I need, but it was the Word of God that he had to eat and digest to enable him to go a preach to the people. We need to eat spiritually to enable us to live obedient lives to experience God’s gracious provision.
Our Father, mercifully direct us to keep our eyes in Your Word. Grant us Your Spirit enabling us to understand the True Message of the Bible. Help us to live in obedience expecting You to provide for our many needs. Amen.