God Will Sustain You

Bibliology

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God … for God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:6, 19).

Perhaps you do not watch nature programs as I do. I enjoy some of them because they tell me about my Father’s world. What we call general revelation. One thing I’ve learned is that penguins in Antarctica, and grizzly bears in Alaska, will care for their young at expense to themselves. They will do without, almost to the point of starvation, so that their young can do with. Where do you suppose that intense instinct came from? From their Creator, my Father. Why do you suppose He put that parenting instinct in birds and animals unless something of that intensity is true to His parenting nature also?

God told Elijah, “Get up! Go to Zarephath … dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you” (1 Kings 17:9).

Sounds rather odd. Why would you command a poor widow woman to sustain a man?

How would it look a man and woman living in the same house without marriage?

Did the widow woman know? Had God revealed Himself to her too?

No. He’d told Elijah, not her. Clueless, she was still acting at His command.

It was the same kind of guidance Elijah had received earlier when God had said, “Hide yourself by the Brook Cherith … You will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (1 Kings 17:4). Food and water. At God’s command.

Does God make special provision only for His prophets? or does He care for the rest of us too?

Hagar was an Egyptian bondwoman. If we look at her solely as she is symbolized in the New Testament, where Paul uses her as an allegory (Galatians 4:22-24), we might think she was someone that God did not esteem; but we would be wrong. God was very much concerned about this young woman because she was part of the household of God, through Abraham.

When pregnant Hagar ran away from home, with cause, God found her in the wilderness. He reasoned with her—tenderly—calling her by name, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where did you come from? Where will you go?”

“I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.”

The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Go back to your mistress. Submit yourself under her hands” (Genesis 16:8, 9).

Why? Because God was into sustenance: food, clothing, shelter. God knew that Sarai might not like it, but she and Abram would provide Hagar room and board. Room and board is important, don’t you think? The utility bill, car payment, gas, transportation, insurance, clothes, shoes ….

After they had talked, Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “Thou God seest me,” for she said, “I have seen Him who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).

God enabled Joseph to sustain his father’s household (Genesis 45:11; 47:12; 50:21). To keep them alive in time of famine.

God Himself sustained the Israelites in their journey from Egyptian bondage. “[He] gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought water out of the rock for their thirst …. For forty years [God] sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet become swollen” (Nehemiah 9:15, 21). Though there was nothing in the wilderness to eat, God sustained them with manna (Exodus 16:14, 15). “The people asked, and He brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven” (Psalm 105:40).

God enabled Ruth to sustain Naomi (Ruth 4:15); and Boaz, to sustain them both (Ruth 2:1-23; 4:1ff).

A rich man, Barzillai, sustained King David at his estate in Mahanaim (2 Samuel 19:32) when David was fleeing from Absalom.

Having experienced “the goodness of God in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13), the Psalmist wrote, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me” (Psalm 3:5). The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sing a song about Psalm 3, “Thou, O Lord” ♫ …

I cried unto the Lord with my voice
And He heard me out of His holy hill
I laid me down and I slept
I awaked, for the Lord sustained me. ~Freda Tapp (1976)

David observed: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread … for the Lord forsakes not His saints” (Psalm 37:25, 28).

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you: He will never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).

Jesus, who knew the Father personally, interpreted Him to us, saying, “Therefore, take no thought, saying, What will we eat? What will we drink? How will we be clothed? …. Your heavenly Father knows you have need of all these things” (Matthew 6:31, 32).

When the 5,000 came to hear His word, He fed them all with five loaves and two fishes—one of the few events in the life of Christ related in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14).

When the 4,000 came to hear His word, He again fed them (Matthew 15:32-38; Mark 8:1-9). He told His disciples, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way” (Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:2, 3).

Later when His disciples were anxious, Jesus refreshed their memory. “Remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you took up? … Remember the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you took up?” (Matthew 16:8-10; Mark 8:17-21). “O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand?” Their God was Himself the bread of heaven. “For the bread of God is He who came down from heaven, and gave life to the world” (John 6:33). Therefore ♫ …

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

Refrain
God will take care of you,
Through every day, over all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.
~Civilla D Martin, 1904

“He who counts the stars and calls them by their names is in no danger of forgetting His own children.” ~Charles H Spurgeon

Copyright © 2017 Alexandra Lee

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