For several years now it has been part of my devotional habits to read a Psalm per day. Not only do I get to go through the entire book twice a year, but it has allowed me to come to know this collection of ancient songs as a whole. I especially love how I come to many individual psalms like old friends. They feel familiar. They are comfortable, and yet they are fresh and challenging.
Recently I was in Psalm 111; one of my favorites. It is a wonderful catalog of God's praise for his glorious works of creation and providence. I've read it many times before, but in my current context I was struck with the glorious simplicity of God's promises. The psalmist gears up for giving thanks in verse 1-4 by focusing on God's attributes of splendor, majesty, righteousness, mercy and grace. Then, for the first tangible work of God to be thankful for, the psalmist chooses not the parting of the Red Sea, not the giving of the Promise to Abraham, but instead says in verse five, “He provides food for those who fear him; He remembers his covenant forever.”
On a first read, I'm tempted to be underwhelmed rather than thankful. Sure, I give thanks before meals, but food is everywhere! Not so for an original reader. There were no supermarkets in ancient Israel. Hunger was common, and for all but a few, the next meal was not guaranteed. It was an amazing comfort for God's people back then to set their heart on the bedrock promise that just as they could trust him to be their God and they his people, so too they could trust that he would provide for them. They would not starve on his watch.
It is still a comfort for God's people to know that he is involved in the earthy, common-place needs of our daily lives. He provides food. I need to be reminded of that! Support raising takes up far more of my thought-life than I anticipated. Often, it is the first thought when I rise up and the last thought when I lie down. I can honestly say that I am not worried about it, but I am always thinking about support-raising. It has become the background noise of my mind. In spite of that noise, I rest in the promise that God provides food to those who fear him!
When tempted constantly to think about support raising; he provides, and so I can rest. When the relationships with our friends and neighbors are unjustly strained and painful; he provides so that we can have peace. When the future is uncertain and fearful; he provides so we can be anxiety free. When worried if our kids are going to turn out ok; he provides so we can love fearlessly.
For those who are bound to him by the Covenant of Grace sealed in the blood of Jesus, God provides food. What an incredible promise for God's people today to set their heart on the bedrock promise that just as surely as we can trust that God is our Father through Jesus Christ, so too we can trust that he will provide for us. Let's eat!
With 15 years of experience in various church settings around the country, Sean Sawyers and his family are preparing to move to Boston to plant a CTK congregation in the northern suburbs.