A Radical Test of Obedience: The Secret of Provision
|"Desert Flower" from www.inspirationimages.zenfolio.com|
My daily Bible reading today reminded me of one of the greatest principles I’ve ever learned: Obedience brings provision regardless of circumstances.
There are few circumstances worse than famine, which is scarcity of food. Famine is the result of conditions such as natural disaster, warfare, crop failure, and drought. All these bad conditions contribute to the circumstance of famine.
The best way to deal with famine is to leave the place of lack and look for better conditions. We’ve seen in the news the movement of hurting people from desperate places seeking refuge, provision, and safety. Thankfully, not many of us in America have endured such misery, but we can imagine what Isaac must have been thinking and feeling.
Remembering the danger and desperation of the “first famine” in the days of his father Abraham, Issac made preparations. This is the reason he went to Gerar to meet with Abimelech. The Philistines were no friends of Israel, but Isaac was willing to work with them, because of the famine. He was seeking provision for himself and his family. Perhaps he was gathering resources to make the 260 mile trip down to Egypt.
In the midst of Isaac’s concern and worry, God appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.”
This was a radical test of obedience. This command from God defied both Isaac’s survival instinct and his reasoning. The command was followed by a promise: “Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you”
Well, it does not get any more important and better than God’s command and promise! Isaac obeyed and did something very strange. He did something that must have looked utterly ridiculous to observers.
“Then Isaac sowed in that land…”
Isaac sowed into land and into conditions that seemed incapable of producing a provision of harvest and food. However, Isaac was not simply sowing seed into soil, he was sowing obedience and faith in God’s promise.
He obeyed God and we read, “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.”
Here is the moral to the story: The conditions and circumstances that we see do not define all the possibilities and outcomes. When God reveals His will and plan, new conditions are established. Better conditions create better circumstances.
Obedience to God changes the conditions of circumstances. This is how Issac could sow in a time of famine and reap blessings. This is how you and I will survive and thrive at all times!
Learn obedience and obey God!