I’d like to start encouraging you in how God provides in every way for His children. We are taught by the world that “God helps those who help themselves”. While the book of Proverbs does say wise things about work ethic and being prudent that every unbeliever should follow, the New Testament offers a deeper understanding of the work required of a believer and of when God “helps.”
Even though I want to get to the New Testament, let’s start at the beginning. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He’s always been a loving Father who will provide for His children everything they need.
Adam and Eve
NEED: decent clothing
PROVISION: God made them animal skin clothing, Genesis 3:21
REQUIRED: Nothing. They didn’t deserve it, but He knew their helplessness and cared for them.
NEED: a sacrifice
PROVISION: a ram, Genesis 22:13
REQUIRED: the faith to obey God’s command to sacrifice his son
PROVISION: free food whenever they needed it
REQUIRED: Nothing. The didn’t deserve it, but God wanted to meet their need and display His goodness and be glorified.
Israelites Enslaved in Egypt
PROVISION: a deliverer
REQUIRED: They called out to God, but God hears and responds because He has seen their suffering and has compassion. Exodus 3:7
NEED: protection from God’s wrath
PROVISION: flies did not swarm in Goshen, Exodus 8:22; cattle of the Israelites live, Exodus 9:4; there was no hail in Goshen, Exodus 9:26; there was light in their dwellings, Exodus 10:23; not even a dog will bark against an Israelite because God distinguishes between Egypt and Israel, Exodus 11:7; the firstborn among the Israelistes are spared, Exodus 12:23
REQUIRED: being God’s children, having God in their midst (Exodus 8:22), the faith to obey the command to kill a lamb and to spread its blood on the door posts
NEED: deliverance from Pharoah’s army
PROVISION: the parting of the Red Sea (and its closing back in on Pharoah’s army)
REQUIRED: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (That’s the NIV. The NASB is “while you keep silent.”) This is Exodus 14:14. God tells Moses to stop crying out to Him. God wants Moses to stand in quiet confidence in the Lord. Moses also has to show faith by obeying the command to stretch out his staff. This is not the first time Moses has been asked to stretch out his staff. The Lord has prepared him for this trial. We don’t know how much faith the Israelites had, but they walked across on dry land between walls of water.
REQUIRED: Moses again has to obey in faith (throws the tree branch in the water). The rest are provided for even though they are grumbling, but they are God’s people.
PROVISION: manna, meat
REQUIRED: Let me just focus on the manna here. There are rules about picking up the manna. But even when those are broken, God continues to provide manna, for forty years. The Israelites continue to show disbelief by their disobedience, but God still provides this basic provision for His people.
I don’t know if I will continue this exercise or not, but I think I will be continuing on this topic in the next post. I hope it is encouraging to you to think on how the Lord provides for His children.
I hope you see how the Lord takes care of His children. He provides food and covering for them even when they don’t deserve it. He acts in compassion for His children when He sees them suffering. He doesn’t require saying “the magic words,” faith formulas of proclaiming His provision. He wants quiet confidence displayed in acts of obedience.