Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I AM Provider

The economy is awful, people are unemployed, expenses are increasing and payment is decreasing. For those of us in our early 20s or in college, the job world is a scary place. It is difficult to find a job if you don't have experience even if you have a degree, and very few companies will take a chance to offer you the experience. Businesses want to employ the unemployed experienced workers who have families to take care of (and rightly so) rather than those of us fresh off the college press. Many are living with a mounting worry of where their next paycheck will come from.

I planned to talk about another character trait of the Lord today, but felt I needed to focus on this one: I AM Provider. This is a name of the Lord (Jehovah Jirah in Hebrew); however His name is also an action He demonstrates on our behalf. Ultimately, though, this is an action for our good and His glory. It is all a reflection of Him. Check out this story.

In Exodus 16, the children of Israel are in the desert having crossed over the Red Sea and are headed to the land the Lord promised them. The people were grumbling because there was little food. To top it off, these people, who had just seen the Lord part the waters of the Red Sea and kill their oppressors, desired to go back to the people who had beaten and abused them. How quickly we forget the Lord's power and His provision for us. So the Lord decided to prove His power to unfaithful Israel once again:

While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud. The LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’” That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. Exodus 16:10-14

So daily the Lord provided for His people. If they chose to gather more food than the Lord allotted them for one day, it would spoil. The Lord desired to teach His people to daily look to Him for provision and sustenance.

Do we do that? 

After I graduated, I stayed another year in my college town working as a substitute teacher while I applied for grad school and helped out in my college group. The Lord did not create me to teach school, and I constantly worried that I wouldn't get a job for the next day. I would stay up until after midnight some nights calling the sub line every five minutes to pick up a job. In eight months that I worked for the school district, there were only two days that I didn't have a job. The Lord was/is my Provider. Daily I learned to depend on Him for that next job, for favor with the teachers to call me back, for patience and the money to pay my bills. I never went without. 

In Genesis 22, the Lord asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Abraham is about to kill his son on the alter he made, knowing all along that the Lord will provide a lamb if He chooses, but an angel stops him. Check out the next part of the story:

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. 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.”  Genesis 22:13-14

What faith! The Lord is your Provider. It may not look like you planned, but make no mistake, He will provide. The God of the universe provided His only Son, Jesus, the Lamb of God to save us from our sins. He was crucified on a cross, was buried, and rose three days later and eventually went back to heaven. That is provision on your behalf. It isn't something He had to do, but something He chose to do! No other religion has a god who loved enough to die for them.  If you are suffering in this tough economy, count your blessings and wait and see the provision the Lord will bring. It is not only an action He performs, but who He is. Jesus is I AM your Provider.

Resting in my Provider,

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