God can provide a table in the wilderness
Many desire to be free from the bondage of poverty. This becomes more pertinent and urgent in a time of economic recession. Christians are taught in their earliest lessons to trust God’s ability and willingness to bring the right resolution to the myriad challenges facing humanity, including issues of lack.
Regardless how dried up the human situation seems, the Bible assures that God can provide a table in the wilderness – provide practical sources of supply. In the Old Testament, despite the doubt of the Israelites, God provided them with daily manna, while they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness – Exodus 16. Also, during a drought in Israel, God commanded ravens to feed Elijah with bread and flesh, providing him with water from the brook Cherith (1 Kings 17). When the brook dried up, God sent him to a widow at Zarephath, providing meal and oil for him and her household, which did not run out until the drought was over.
In the New Testament, Christ Jesus fed a crowd of four thousand, with seven loaves and a few small fishes (Mark 8), while Matthew 14 relates that he fed five thousand with five loaves and two fishes.
Can the Christian of the 21st century expect to see such practical proof of God’s provision? Christ Jesus urges, in Luke 12:24, to consider the ravens. God feeds them today, as He did in Jesus’ day. Obviously, this is not about asking God for material prosperity or material conveniences. Jesus teaches that in order to experience God’s supply, we must know that we are more valuable than ravens. We must realise we are more to God than a ‘furnished table,’ more than mere meat and raiment (Matt 6:31-32). Our inherent, true and lasting value comes from the fact that we are spiritual. Genesis 1:26 expresses this as being God’s very image.
This is why Christian author, Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) was able to prove in her own experience, that a spiritual understanding of God and man lifts one out of the bondage of poverty. She writes in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures that we must not make the same mistake the children of Israel made, when they doubted whether God could furnish a table in the wilderness. She challenges with a question: ‘What cannot God do?’ If we dare trust God in a time of economic recession, we shall find that what was true in Bible times is also true today.
George, The Christian Science Committee on Publication for Nigeria West.