Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“But my God -- so great is His wealth of glory in Christ Jesus -- will fully supply every need of yours. And to our God and Father be the glory for ever and ever! Amen.”
Philippians 4: 19,20
Weymouth’s New Testament in
“God wishes each of us to work as hard as we can, holding nothing back but giving ourselves to the utmost, and when we can do no more, then is the moment when the hand of Divine Providence is stretched out to us and takes over.”
Today’s Study Text:
“So Abraham called the name of that place: The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it will be provided.’”
Genesis 22: 14
“Jehovah – Jireh” – Our God Will Provide
“You will never need more than God can supply.”
J. I. Packer
What need do I have in my life today?
Is there something specific that I have asked my heavenly Father, Jehovah-Jireh, to provide for me?
As I wait upon my God, what am I learning?
“In all created things discern the Providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.”
Teresa of Avila
“We turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.”
Charles C. West
PROVIDENCE: “Care, preparation, foresight, prudent management, providing for future events.
Today we begin a series of studies I’ve looked forward to for over a year. As we have traversed the course of history through the Old Testament books of 1 Kings and II Kings, we find that during a time of great apostasy and rebellion, exhibited by God’s children, our heavenly Father was not only in control, but indeed, He was at work in ways that make me marvel when I read the Biblical record.
Seemingly out of nowhere, on earth’s stage, Elijah the Tishbite appeared in the palace of the wicked King Ahab, declaring that God was alive and well, and further, that He was busy, working out His plan for His children.
As I spent the past months reading everything I could find about the prophet of God, Elijah, as well as his successor, Elisha, there was one word that kept flashing before my eyes like a neon sign and it is the word: “Providence.”
The dictionary defines “providence” as foresight or foreknowledge. For those whose spiritual antennas are tuned in to God’s will and way, providence takes on a much deeper definition and wider meaning than just a dictionary definition. One definition of “providence,” found in a Heidelberg booklet, states that it is: “The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by His hand, He upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty; yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by His Fatherly hand.”
This broad explanation gives a comprehensive overview of how our Father rules -- providentially. But for each of us, individually, it is the personal stories of God’s hand at work in the lives of each one of His children which touched my heart the most, especially when I am confused and distressed by events in my life which appear to be completely unexplainable.
It is why I chose as our study text for today the passage in Genesis 22:14 which is the culmination of what is a request from God for Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Having made all the preparations to carry out this act according to God’s Word, Abraham was halted, midair with a knife in his hand, by God’s voice and power.
It is from this moment of crisis, that we find Abraham naming the place on the mountain, “It will be provided,” and our heavenly Father being called, “Jehovah-Jireh” -- our God who provides and supplies.
This passage in Genesis 22 was the inspiration for William Cowper’s poem/hymn “Jehovah-Jireh -- The Lord Will Provide:”
“The saints should never be dismayed,
Nor sink in hopeless fear,
For when they least expect His aid,
The Saviour will appear.
This Abraham found, he raised the knife,
God saw, and said, ‘Forbear.’
Yon ram shall yield his meaner life,
Behold the victim there.
Blest proofs of power and grace divine,
That meet us in His word!
May every deep-felt care of mine
Be trusted with the Lord.”
These inspiring words could have been representative of the ministry of both Elijah and Elisha, for throughout their service for God, His providential leading met every need they faced.
And this is why the study of the lives of these two Biblical giants has so much to teach us today in the 21st century.
As I’ve shared with you before, here in Transformation Garden, we are digging deeply in our devotionals, into the lives of all the women in the Bible. But as we have rapidly found, the lives of the women and men are very closely intertwined and it is for this reason, we are looking at how God works with all His children, both women and men, to accomplish His purpose here on earth.
In both Elijah and Elisha’s lives, the women they interacted with teach us some of the most critical lessons which are pertinent to the current time in which we live. And if there is one word I had to choose, which encapsulates the work of God not only in the lives of these two prophets but in your life and mine, today, it is the word “providence.” The reason I have chosen this word is that so often from our human standpoint, everything appears to be unexplainable and the cry is heard, “Where is God? What is He up to?” Believe me, we won’t have to do much study at all to find that Elijah asked this question more than once. And the same may be true in your life right now.
As I’ve read the prayer requests over the last twelve months, I’ve again been impressed with the contemporary application that God’s Word has for your life and mine. Whatever difficulty you may face, I can assure you that as Thomas Watson stated with surety, God can be trusted even “When His providences seem to run contrary to His promises.” This truth is present in the lives of Elijah and Elisha.
As we see God’s faithfulness at work in the past, it is my prayer that it will give us courage to keep walking with God in the future, no matter where He leads each one of us.
Over the last few months as I’ve prepared for our upcoming devotionals, I’ve personally faced some challenges in my own life that left me perplexed and quite frankly, feeling like I was stumbling around in a fog, not knowing where God was leading me. During this time, I was thankful that my Bible study led me to some of the most encouraging passages of Scripture as well as words of inspiration, penned many years ago by other children of God who also found their own walk filled with moments of despair.
One particular quote, written by John Newton, author of the great hymn, Amazing Grace, struck a cord in my heart for it helped deepen my faith in my heavenly Father’s unfailing love and hand of guidance, even when my daily walk was perplexing. I hope these words touch you as they did me:
“God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts.”
We will find these words absolutely true as we go with Elijah to a tiny brook called Cherith in a lonely mountain area; as we traverse nearly 100 miles across the desert to the foreign land of Sidon where we’ll live with a widow and her son; as we climb atop a mountain called Carmel; and as we flee in terror to Sinai’s desert. God will be with us as He was with Elijah, every step of the way. And most importantly, we will learn as John Dawson so correctly stated, “You are where God in His providence has put you.” How encouraged you and I can be today that God’s provision is always greater than our needs. He is Jehovah-Jireh -- our God who provides!
“All of my need He freely supplieth,
Day after day His goodness I prove;
Mercies unfailing, new every morning,
Tell me of God’s unchangeable love.”
“Knowing that I am not the one in control gives great encouragement. Knowing the One who is in control is everything.”
“Grant to me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights You most, to value what is precious in Your sight, to hate what is offensive to You. Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of ignorant men; but to discern with true judgment between things visible and spiritual and above all things to inquire what is the good pleasure of Your will.”
Thomas á Kempis
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.