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Monday, December 7, 2015

Unexpected Provision


Unexpected Provision

Unexpected Provision 
Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince. We are blessed to have him as our guest writer.

When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”1 Samuel 17:31-33

I was recently reading the story of David and Goliath with my children, which we’ve read countless times before. In classic stories like this one it’s easy to feel like we’ve exhausted them, drawn every bit of insight or direction they have to offer. However, I never cease to be amazed by the ways God speaks to us afresh from his word, and this time was no different.

When we read the Bible, our temptation is to always identify with the heroes of the story: Moses parting the sea, Joshua and Caleb courageously following the Lord into a new land, or David conquering Goliath. Yet as I read this story with my kids, I was shocked to find myself resonating with an unlikely character: Saul.

At first, to be honest, I found this slightly concerning! If you know the story of Saul, then you know he has some significant character flaws, including pride, envy, and the love of power. What can Saul possibly teach us from this passage?

In spite of all that he gets wrong, in 1 Samuel 17 Saul gets one thing very right: he recognizes that God can provide for his people in the most unlikely of ways.

Now granted, Saul has his doubts. How could David possibly be the man chosen to defeat this “man of war”? Surely this was a suicide mission! And yet, crazy though it may seem, in this moment Saul discerns the mystery of God’s providence and trusts that God’s ways are higher and greater than he can understand (Is. 55:8).

And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you” (1 Samuel 17:37)!

Notice that Saul doesn’t simply say “Go”. He doesn’t say “Go, and rely on your strength, wisdom, and years of training for this battle.” He knows this would be simply untrue! Yet the wisdom and insight from this passage rests in this wonderful phrase: “the LORD be with you!” Saul, in these five simple words, recognizes a profound truth and in so doing helps us remember that God always provides for his people, yet the provision can at times seem unlikely, untimely, and uncertain.

If we think about it, is this not true of Jesus?

When we look to Jesus, we see the ultimate example of unexpected provision. Who in their right mind would have guessed that a poor handyman from the countryside who died a criminal’s death would three days later rise from the dead and reconcile all things to himself (Col. 1:20)? God in Jesus meets the needs of his people in the most unexpected of ways. May we look to him and, like Saul with David, trust fully in God’s loving, unexpected provision.

Prayer: Father, help us to see your provision in all things, ultimately shown in the love of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn. 1:29).

Application: How does God’s grace and provision meet you in unexpected and unlikely ways?

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~


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