Provision (Matthew 6:11)

Photo by Cathy VanHeest on Unsplash

The book of Genesis reveals that God made the whole world in 6 days. It  cannot be lost  on us that God made all of our physical surroundings, even plants and animals, prior to creating man. “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  

That order was not without manifold purpose. Clearly, God wanted to provide mankind with a world ready for him. He made a whole world full of fresh air, water, trees, plants, fish, birds and animals for Adam and Eve. Everything we would need for life. God our Father is our provider. Not only of physical things, either. God also grants us the tremendous gift of relationship. Immediately after creating them, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  Wow. Relationship with Him, relationship with each other, relationship with the created world. Blessing, work and calling! Truly it can be said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” The abundance God made allows us to know for certain that He will not be unable to provide for our tomorrow.

Of course, sin obscures that idea. We begin to think that what is before us right now is all that will ever be. Indeed, apart from the creator, everything around us is a most limited resource. So mankind selfishly hoards. The result is that many do not have what they need. The few grow large, the many go without. Fortunately, God our creator and sustainer is not limited to what is. He can make more simply by speaking. So to turn to Him for our daily need is not only necessary, but wise. In him there is no want. To that point Jesus instructs us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.”  

It is a prayer that asks God only for bread, not for the rich food of the over indulgent. It is a prayer that asks God only for daily need to be met, not for freezers full of abundance. It is a prayer that asks God for today, not for every day hereafter. It is a prayer that keeps our eyes on Him and does not let our eyes focus on abundance instead of Him. It is a prayer of humility that anticipates tomorrow’s prayer of humility. 

To that point NT Wright wrote, “The Kingdom-prayer isn’t a prayer, such as some religions would advocate, for our desires to be taken away or annihilated. In bringing them into the prayer within the setting of the earlier petitions for God’s honour, his kingdom and his will, it asks for our desires to be satisfied in God’s way and God’s time.”

Amen. God knew what Adam and Eve needed, and made a world that produced it. Each day that the night ended and the sun rose, God caused the plants to increase and the fruit to be produced, so that those He made in His image would have all they need for the day. And He did that all before He put Adam and Even on the scene. He didn’t create refrigeration or IDF (individually quick frozen) technology in advance. He didn’t create pensions and retirement funds in advance. He created daily provision in advance. That’s all, and there is a something for us to be gained in noticing that.

God knows what we need today. Ask Him. He is well able to provide. But only expect what you need for today, not what you might need for tomorrow. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.

William Shakespeare

APPLICATION: Thankfulness

What has God provided you with today?

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