WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 10, 2021
TOPIC: UNUSUAL PROVISION
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there’” (1 Kings 17:2-4 New King James Version).
One of the names of God in the Bible is Jehovah-Jireh, which means “The LORD will provide” (Genesis 22:14). Many people have experienced this name in their lives. They have enjoyed the Lord’s provision. Many times His provision is unusual. It could be that what He gives was more than what they were expecting, was different from it, or the way His provision came was most unexpected.
God is not just a great Provider; He is also an unusual Provider. He can provide for you in ways you don’t expect. You can put your trust in Him to provide for you rather than grumbling, worrying, or being anxious. He says you should cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
In Exodus 14, the children of Israel, on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land, were in the wilderness for three days without water to drink. When they finally saw water, they must have been extremely happy. But there was a problem: the water was not drinkable. Hope dashed! They moved from a condition of no water to bitter water. The bitter water was called Marah.
As usual, they started murmuring. But there was no need for that. All hope was not lost. God was on their side. The great, unusual provider was with them. Moses cried to the LORD concerning the water of Marah and God healed the water for the people to drink.
Exodus 15:25 says, “So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them” (New King James Version). God provided water for them by turning bitter water into sweet water but the Israelites had failed God’s test because they murmured. He brought them to the bitter water deliberately.
But that’s not all. The unusual provider had moved them from no water to bitter water, which He turned into sweet water. The next He did was to move them to an abundance of water, which should make them ashamed of themselves for grumbling.
Exodus 15:27 says, “Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters” (New King James Version). Did you see that? Twelve wells of water! In other words, each tribe could take one well and drink to the full and give their animals. If they liked, they could share the 70 palm trees among the 12 tribes to sit under for shade and refreshment!
What this means is that God gave them an excess of what they were grumbling about. You don’t need to grumble over anything. Cast your cares upon Him. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6).
In Exodus 16, when the children of Israel were hungry in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, they grumbled that it was better they had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt when they sat by the pots of meat and ate bread to the full! They said Moses had brought them out into the wilderness to kill them with hunger (verse 3).
God heard their grumbling and told Moses He would meet their need. But He didn’t send carts carrying loads of food to them. He told Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily” (verses 4-5 New King James Version).
In the evening, the LORD surprised them with unusual provision, Quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. The Israelites didn’t know what it was. So, they said to one another, “What is it?” (Verses 13-15). It was an unusual provision.
Moses had to explain to them what it was. “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent’” (verses 15b-16 new King James Version). Did you see that?
God sent to them unusual provision. They continued to gather it. They called it manna. Manna literally means “What?”, “What is that?”, or “What is this?” It’s not the name of the bread, but the question they asked when they saw it. The bread was like white coriander seed, and its taste was like wafers made with honey.
When the Israelites joined the mixed multitude among them to cry for meat, God gave them an unusual provision of meat. A wind went out from the LORD and brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp. The number was huge. They gathered the quail for two days. However, while they were still eating the meat, the anger of the LORD blazed against the people. He caused a severe plague to break out among them as punishment for craving for meat (Numbers 11:31-33).
The Bible records different cases of unusual provision by God, which should encourage us to have faith in Him. Twice, God caused water to come out of the rock for the children of Israel to drink when they lacked water. It wasn’t that they dug any well. On the two occasions, water came out of the rock when Moses struck the rock with his rod (Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13).
Although God didn’t tell Moses to strike the rock on the second occasion, he struck it twice instead of speaking to the rock. Nevertheless, water came out abundantly for the Israelites and their animals to drink. The LORD told Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12 New King James Version).
In 1 Kings 17, God didn’t send an angel to provide food for the prophet Elijah during the famine. “Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there’” (1 Kings 17:2-4 New King James Version).
God sent ravens, unclean birds, to supply unusual provision to him. God had forbidden the Israelites to eat ravens (Levites 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14). Where did the ravens get the bread and flesh they brought to Elijah in the morning and evening? God gave them. Abraham said God shall provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering (Genesis 22:8).
Ravens are large black birds (Song of Solomon 5:11). They engage in acrobatics when flying. They’re scavengers (Proverbs 30:17). They are one of the most intelligent birds. They can make different noises and have the ability to mimic human speech. The first mention of the raven in the Bible is in Genesis 8:7 when Noah sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.
Why would God use an unclean bird to deliver unusual provision to Elijah? Probably Elijah felt uncomfortable at first just as Peter felt when he was asked to kill and eat unclean animals in a trance (Acts 10:9-16). Ravens don’t sow, reap, or have a storehouse or barn but God feeds them (Luke 12:24).
God provides food for the ravens and the young ravens (Job 38:41; Psalm 147:9; 115:3). Ravens have no business providing food for human beings, but they obeyed God to deliver food to Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6). God determines who He uses to bless you. Elijah did not reject God’s choice of the ravens until God changed the season. Don’t reject the ravens that God sends to you.
In 1 Kings 17:8-16, we have another instance of God’s unusual provision after God had stopped using the ravens to feed Elijah. Just as God had commanded the ravens, He also commanded a widow in Zarephath, a Phoenician town (Jezebel was a Phoenician Princess of Sidon), to feed Elijah.
This woman was not just a widow, but she was also preparing to cook her last meal when Elijah met her. She and her son were going to eat their last meal and then die of hunger. In other words, she was a poor widow. In addition, she was a foreigner, not an Israelite, yet she had faith in the God of Israel, believed God’s servant, and obeyed him. God could have sent Elijah to a wealthy person to feed him but He chose to use a poor widow to feed him Unusual provision!
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35). Because of the woman’s faith, God preserved her throughout the period of the famine. She and her son continued to enjoy abundance and she kept feeding Elijah as long as the famine lasted. 1 Kings 17:16 says the bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah. Unusual provision! When the woman’s son later died, not because of the famine, Elijah restored him to life (verses 17-24).
I pray that you will enjoy unusual provision. You won’t reject whoever God is sending to bless you and whichever way He chooses.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you
PRAYER POINTS: Father, You are the great provider; give me unusual provision. Turn my bitter water into sweet water. I will enjoy unusual provision in the name of Jesus. I shall not reject whoever God will send to bless me and whichever way He chooses.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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