When we live lives of worship, we can expect miraculous provision from a God who sees and provides for our every need. Jehovah Jireh is redemptive, a name fulfilled in Jesus. God works supernaturally to provide practically if we yield all we are and have to Him in faith.
For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ (1 Kings 17:14)
Elijah’s life challenges, inspires, and encourages all believers. His bold, uncompromising obedience is balanced by glimpses of his frail humanity. Today’s verse has particular poignancy for me, because I learned the hard way. For many years, I endured seemingly endless hardship. Much was not of my making. Some was the result of my own choices in my relationship with God. But through, I learned of the miraculous provision of God. One vivid example was when my husband was dying of bone cancer. I worked for a pitiful salary to try to keep the roof over our heads. But a day came when I set off in faith with only enough petrol in the car to get me there. Come five p.m., I was still praying as I walked to the car – and found a full tank of fuel in a vehicle for which I held the only set of keys.
Miraculous provision is Jehovah Jireh.
Exodus is a wonderful example of God’s miraculous provision. He fed His people twice daily, and even varied their diet when they complained. More than that, He provided clothes and shoes that never wore out. They might not have had their ‘greeds,’ but He certainly met their needs. That’s the essence of Jehovah Jireh. It’s important to take hold of the fact that He used Jehovah Jireh as one of His redemptive names – the names fulfilled in the redemptive work on the cross. It means the God who sees and provides. This involves two distinct things. The first is that God sees. What a powerful encouragement when in the midst of hardship and suffering. We cannot count on others seeing, but God sees. He misses no detail and no need is too small for His attention. His sight is perfect and complete, and He notices every single lack.
But His grace and love extend way beyond counting every hair on our head. He doesn’t see and do nothing about it. Jehovah Jireh sees and provides, and often through miraculous provision. I can remember sitting in my car, weeping with the revelation of His care. It’s a miracle that has remained with me and which encourages me daily. This was literally a miracle, as no one could have had access to fill the car without getting the keys from me. But we also experience His provision in more practical terms. A recent one was receiving a refund for blood tests which the company was adamant had been overpaid. I can’t explain it and gave up protesting. But His timing, if not the actual event, was nothing short of miraculous. An hour earlier I had reassured someone that He would provide that exact amount, though I had no idea how.
Miraculous provision is always practical.
Many believers struggle with faith for miraculous provision because we look at the natural and see the impossible. But God’s speciality is doing the impossible. He is supernatural and so works supernaturally, which means natural limitations mean nothing. At the same time, though, His provision is always practical. It’s tailor-made for the need and so manifests in the natural. It would have been pointless to receive a pair of shoes when I needed petrol. The miracle would have been equal, but it had no practical use. I could, of course, have used the shoes to walk the miles to and from work. But that wouldn’t have been practical, and it wouldn’t have met the need. When we pray for miraculous provision we must always expect the supernaturally practical. God sees and responds for what He sees with perfect, personal, and detailed provision.
I didn’t ask Him to fill my car. My prayer was that He would provide so I could fill my car. He went one better in the most awesomely practical way. We need to move past the notion that, being supernatural, His provision won’t also be practical. God works supernaturally to move the natural. He brings into being what isn’t. He’ll never provide what we don’t need or in a way we cannot use. This is a really good lesson to take hold of. God’s miraculous provision is always needs based, but it can also be for needs we haven’t recognised yet. If we receive something unexpectedly through His supernatural provision, we can be sure there’s a matching need. We may only see it later, but where God provides, it’s always for a particular purpose. He often supplies in advance and reveals the need down the line.
Miraculous provision can be miraculous stretching.
When counting pennies isn’t necessary because there are only two, God is still God. I’ve had times when I’ve needed to somehow make those two pennies work like ten. Finding that what we need is ‘on special’ is one way. Sitting down to a meal for two and somehow feeding four is another. These are practical examples of God stretching what I have through miraculous provision. This truth is particularly highlighted in today’s verse. God took what the widow had and promised to stretch it until the time of plenty. Which raises another wonderful aside – that the time of plenty will come. In providing for our needs, God also stretches our faith with the promise that hardship has a limited shelf-life. It will pass. And until it does, we can believe and expect that God will stretch the little we have to last as long as it needs to.
Stretching is another speciality of God, but it requires us giving it over. I have found that yielding all I have to Him and asking Him to bless it releases it to His supernatural power. I don’t have to stretch the limited bank account because it’s no longer mine. It’s His. All we have is miraculous provision because our supernatural God is the source. When we give it back to Him, He is able to empower it and bless it to achieve His purposes. The young boy only had loaves and fishes, but he gave them willingly. Jesus blessed them, broke them, and then stretched them so there was way more left over. But if the boy hadn’t given, the miracle could not have taken place. It’s only when we yield what we have that we step back and allow God to transform it into miraculous provision.
Worship and miraculous provision.
Elijah’s defining attribute was worship. His life was yielded as an instrument to restore God’s people to right relationship and acceptable worship. There are many instances of miraculous provision in his story, of which today’s verse is only one. God also provided miraculously on the mountain as he wrestled his human weakness and depression. The most dramatic provision was that of fire on Mount Carmel. This is a reminder to us that God honours our bold and faithful worship. He sees our humility and surrender and always responds. The way to Jehovah Jireh is through worship – lives of worship surrendered to Jesus who is the Way. When we yield all to Christ with thanksgiving and praise, God moves supernaturally to meet every need. He desires to do so and has already fulfilled this promise eternally in Jesus. There is no limit to the miraculous provision of God through Christ.
Jehovah Jireh, we bring all we are and all we have to You today. Thank You for the promise that You both see and provide. Thank You that as we worship and yield to You, we can trust in Your miraculous provision for all our needs. Help us to remain in the place of worship, not for what we receive but for who You are. All things are from You and for You, that Your glory and power would be revealed.