Subtitle: The Great Provider
Text: 2kgs. 4:42-44
Very often a time, when people face challenges, they get into a disrespectfully querying or instructing God on what He should do, and how to do what they want etc. without endeavouring to understand the programme of God for their lives. This failure is responsible for much of the ‘unnecessary’ sorrows or sufferings experienced by people of God (cons. Hos. 4:6; Jer. 29:11). God is the All knowing Creator Who draws His plans for every individual child of His, and so will not bow to the pressures of men to change His ways, principles and projects. He rather wants His creatures to follow Him, and those that sheepishly follow Him, always arrive at His green pastures (cons. Ps. 23:1-6; Isa. 49:23).
While following the Lord, one of the great things that would happen to an individual is the acquisition of spiritual resources like patience, endurance, hope and faith.
We shall analyse our case study and apply the derived lessons.
- THE ANALYSIS
Firstly, The man from Baal-shalisha recognized that God was the Provider of his resources and so brought the first fruits of his increase (2Kgs. 4:42; cons. Deut. 26:1-10; Pro. 3:9-10; Jer. 2:2-3; Ezek. 44:30).
This recommended practice of scriptural first fruit principle is an expression of one’s understanding and appreciation of God as one’s Supplier, and accordance of honour to Him. “As one gives God the first, He (God) will take care of the rest” goes the saying (Pro. 3:6,9-10). The understanding by any individual, of the unquantifiable benefit of keeping to this principle (of the first fruits) will make it a law to be firmly observed (cons Jer. 2:2-3). And it will reflect at the acquisition of a new job, increase in salary, promotion in the office; reception of gifts in a new year etc. Some may even consider the first salary of the year as a first fruit salary; some others may take a big chunk of that first month’s salary as their first fruit of every year (cons. 1Cor 10:31; 2Cor. 8:7-11; 9:6-7). Whenever one honours God through giving, God always responds in a spectacular manner as He did unto Abraham (Gen. 22:12-19).
Secondly, the man from Baal-shalisha took the first fruits to the man of God suggesting that he recognized that there is blessing in giving to a servant of God (2Kgs. 4:42; Gen. 14:17-20; Mal. 3:8-10,12; Matt. 10:41 cp. 1Cor. 9:14; Gal 6:6,7; 1Tim. 5:17-18). The Almighty is always pleased with people that endeavour to support and sustain His house by providing for His ministers (cons. 1Sam. 2:30; Neh. 13:10-14; Mal. 3:8-10,12).
Any person that develops the habit of constantly supporting genuine servants of God, will get into a realm of unbreached divine supply (Lk. 6:38; Gal. 6:7,9,10).
Thirdly, the provision from the man from Baal-shalisha seemed initially inadequate, but the prophet knew the God of Elijah whom he was serving (con. 2Kgs. 4:26-44; 1Kgs. 17:8-16).
The Almighty can bring something out of nothing (Gen. 1:1-8; 22:11-14; Ex. 16:4,14-18; Ps.75:28, Ex.17:1-7; Num. 20:5-11). He at times, chooses to multiply what He has already provided (Gen. 26:12; Ex. 16:8,13; 1Kgs. 17:8-16; 2Kgs.4:1-7, Mk. 8:2-9; 2Cor. 9:10). At other times, He chooses the option of using creatures whom He had provided for, to meet the needs of men (2Kgs. 4:42 cp. 4:1-7; 7:6-16; 1Kgs. 17:2-6,8-16; Matt. 17:27; Jn. 6:5-12). He makes all things beautiful in His time (Eccl. 3:11).
There should be a strong resolution before God to imbibe and practise the principle of first fruits so as to get into the realm of Divine sustenance.
There must also be a determination to make oneself available to God as an instrument of sustenance of God’s servants, by investing regularly into their lives. The truth of God’s ability to provide for the needs of His people must be believed at all times; and that all creatures are subject to His desire.
Therefore what is one’s need? Let him ask of God who giveth liberally (Jas. 1:5-8; Ps. 24:1). He provides food, finances, employment, opportunities, life partners, fruit of the womb, shelter etc., therefore ask and receive.