This month at Down to Earth we talked about growing your own food and starting the journey of taking more responsibility for providing the food we eat. Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and our family to provide for the basics of life such as safety, shelter and sustenance.
The word provision has a number of meanings and uses but a common definition is a “stock of needed materials or supplies especially food.” For example when we go on a camping trip we need to ensure that we take adequate provisions. As well as keeping a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables in season, Annette and I try to keep provisions of some of the staples that we grow such as tomatoes (in various forms), preserved fruits, potatoes, pumpkins etc that will keep us supplied for 12 months or more.
Provision is the act of providing or making previous preparation.
This concept of provision or provider is used in relation to God as he provides for his children. There are many names for God used throughout scripture and one of them is Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will provide.
Jehovah Jireh was used by Abraham following God’s provision of a ram in place of his son Isaac who God has asked him to sacrifice. If you’re interested in this, read more here.
Abraham calls the place where this happened Jehovah Jireh – “God will provide.” The word there is richer than our English denotes.
- “Provide” in Hebrew is also “see to it,” which is similar to the name a woman named Hagar calls the Lord in Genesis 16:13 – “The God who Sees.”
- That Hebrew word also means “perceive” and“experience.”
When Abraham calls God Jehovah-Jireh, he isn’t just saying, “God provides!” He is saying, “You see/experience all this need of mine and make provision for it.” It is deeply personal.
God is our provider, he prepares for us and provides what we need in life. God’s greatest provision was his Son, Jesus, who he gave to the world so that we could share in God’s love, and grace.
Paul reminds us of this in Philippians 4:19 (Message) You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
When Jesus spoke the sermon on the mount, a key component related to God being our provider. Jesus calls us to have more faith in God’s provision to us and to be less fixated on future planning or prepping.
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
What challenges you most from these words of Jesus?
What encourages you most from these words of Jesus?
King David was well aware of his own failings but he was also astutely aware of God’s provision for him. King David had known prosperity and he had also known poverty, he had known fame and he also experienced being discarded and being in fear of his life. In his later years he wrote Psalm 37. In the Psalm he ponders the issues of injustice and reminds his readers that God does indeed provide but not always in ways that we expect or recognise.
David urges his readers to trust in God and be faithful.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Listen to these songs of worship that speak of God’s provision.
Matt Redman – Blessed Be Your Name (Lyrics And Chords)
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Chris Tomlin – Enough (Lyrics)
Read and reflect on Psalm 23 and note the things God provides to us.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honour me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Finish by reading the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.