Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Vision (5.21.15): God's Provision in the Wilderness

Note: Here are some sermon notes from last Sunday morning’s message from 2 Samuel 17 on the Lord’s provision for David and his people in the wilderness while on the run from Absalom.

“…for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness” (2 Samuel 17:29b).

The Lord knew the condition of David and his people in the wilderness, and he provided for them from unexpected sources.

What father would see his children hungry and weary and thirsty and not provide for them food and rest and drink?  How much more will our loving heavenly Father provide for his children when they are in need and cry out to him.

In some ways David’s experience mirrors that of Israel in the wilderness after escaping bondage in Egypt.  In those days the Lord used manna and quail to provide for his people. Here he uses three unlikely instruments (v. 27: Shobi the Ammonite; Machir the Saulite; and the aged Barzillai) to bring them a store of food—see the mouth-watering list in vv. 28-29a).

Charles Spurgeon in his Lectures to My Students, tells about a godly minister (probably a Scottish Covenanter) who was being chased by his persecutors and who went into a hayloft and hid himself in the hay.  Spurgeon continues:

The soldiers went into the place, picking and thrusting with their swords and bayonets, and the good man even felt the cold steel touch the sole of his foot, and the scratch which was made remained for years: yet his enemies did not discover him.  Afterward a hen came and laid an egg every day hard by the place where he was hidden, and so he was sustained as well as preserved until it was safe for him to leave his hiding place (p. 403; Dale Ralph Davis also cites this illustration in 2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity, p. 178).

Some of you may be able to look back on your experience in Christ and see how the Lord has been able to provide for you in the wilderness.  Some may have the scratch on the heel to remind you or the memory of the daily egg.  Consider this exhortation from the author of Hebrews:

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

The Lord will provide for his people in the wilderness.

And what has been his greatest provision?  What did he provide for us when we were in the wilderness of sin?  He gave to us the best provision of all—even the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is in him that we find the ultimate nourishment, the ultimate hope, and the ultimate encouragement.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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