We have a God who delights to provide for His children. The Bible shows over and over again that God provides for us in many different ways, including giving us our daily bread. However, His provision is dependent on us learning to give first place in our hearts to Him and His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).
In I Kings 17, a severe drought had come across Israel as a fulfillment of a prophecy given by Elijah (vs 1). Since the whole nation was going through the drought, with the accompanying famine, one may ask, what about Elijah? Would he survive?
Yes, he would, because Elijah was under God’s care and provision! Let’s look at four ways in which God provided for Elijah (taken from 1 Kings 17:1-6), He will provide for us in similar fashion.
4 Ways God Provides
1) God provides when we obey His Word (vs 2-3)
Verse 5 says that Elijah started on an excursion to the Kerith Ravine, in obedience to a word given by the Lord (vs 2-3). God still provides in accordance to the many promises and also the conditions of His Word. On our part, we need to be obedient to His Word.
Because He obeyed, Elijah found a place of safety where God’s provision was freely available. What about you? Obedience may just be the gateway to His provision being released into your life!
2) God provides according to our need (vs 4,6)
Elijah had only two real needs at this time; food and water, and that’s exactly what he got! God didn’t send him money, clothes, or helpers, only food (meat and bread) and water (vs 6).
God knows exactly what we need and He is more than able to provide. Didn’t He provide a water fountain from a rock and food (Manna) from the skies to the Israelites in the wilderness ? (Refer Exodus 17: 5-7 and Exodus 16)
Illustration – Here is a simple example. Many years ago, on one of our routine visits to the doctor to check our elder son’s health, we noticed him using a digital ear thermometer to check the temperature. It was the first time we saw a digital thermometer and we were quite fascinated by it. We therefore started praying for one and within a few weeks, a friend of mine had arrived from Australia and left a gift for us with his mother. When we received the gift and opened it, guess what was inside. A digital ear thermometer!! That’s how God provides.
“Where the Spirit of God leads us, the provision of God will reach us!”
3) God provides at the right time (vs 6)
Never doubt God’s timing for as someone said, ‘God is never too early, He’s never too late, He’s always on time’.
Verse 6 shows us that God ordered the ravens to carry food to Elijah at appointed times. They were dispatched in the morning and in the evening but didn’t come in the afternoon. Maybe Elijah was being forced into a mid-day diet!
Let’s rest assured that our God knows the timings the best. He will come through at the right time, if we hold on and don’t give up. Let’s look at two Biblical examples.
- A young Hebrew girl named Hadassah was raised at the right time to win the Miss Persia beauty pageant and become Queen Esther of the Persian Empire. God then used her to save His people from annihilation (Esther 4:14)
- David was raised at the right time from being a shepherd boy and a back-up musician to King Saul, to become a giant slayer, and eventually, King!
4) God provides in unexpected ways (vs 6)
Ravens by nature are scavenger birds. They are not known for sharing food! But,‘God works in unexpected ways, His wonders to perform’. He uses the least likely methods to provide for His children. Therefore, never limit or pre-suppose how He can work in your situation.
Illustration –As a child, I remember when the fish vendor would come home. The moment he would take the fish out, he would be encircled by a host of crows! At the slightest opportunity, they would dart in, grab a few pieces and take off for a feast!!
If God could provide for Elijah through such birds, He can provide for us too in unexpected ways.
He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides!!