Something From Nothing

And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Mark 8:17

“But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God…” Deuteronomy 1:32.

I’ll admit it. Sometimes – more often than I care to think of – I forget who God is.

I’m not the only one with God-amnesia. In Mark, the disciples twice watched Jesus miraculously feed thousands of people. But when they went into the wilderness on their journey, they worried that they only had one loaf of bread among them. “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread?” Jesus asked. “Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?”

The Israelites had a serious memory problem too. God had intervened on their behalf time and time again. He brought them out of Egypt with great riches. He led them through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. He led them to the lip of the Red Sea, and although they were surrounded with barriers on all sides, God’s power knew no limits. “The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left” (Exodus 14:22).

He provided them with food and water in the desert – He made the bitter waters of Marah sweet, and He rained bread from heaven (Exodus 15:25; 16:4).

However, they still forgot who He was (Deuteronomy 1:32). When they lacked water again a short time later, they doubted Him. The Bible says that Moses “named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, ‘Is the LORD among us, or not?'” (Exodus 17:7).

We know that they shouldn’t have doubted. So why do we?

Their doubting at Massah and Meribah is extremely significant. In fact, one of the most repeated verses of Scripture refers specifically to this instance and warns us not to make the same mistake (see Psalms 95:8).

Consider the following:

“You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.” Deuteronomy 6:16

“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3

If you’re familiar with the story of Jesus’ life, these words should look familiar to you. After He had fasted for 40 days, the first thing the devil tempted Him to do was to turn rocks into bread – to rely on His own power to meet His physical needs and not trust God the Father to provide for Him. In response, Jesus quoted verses from Deuteronomy that showed how God provided for the needs of the Israelite people in the wilderness. He understood what His disciples had not yet grasped – God provides for His children.

In the Bible, God is often distinguished from other gods as the one who created the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything in them. He created everything we see, even existence itself, from nothing. If He can create a world from nothing, He can create the things you and I need from nothing, too. It doesn’t matter what the need is. If the need is a job, He can create one for you, regardless of the state of the economy. He can breathe life into a failing marriage. He can lift a desperate heart out of a crippling depression. He can break the chains of resentment, addiction, and sin. He created the universe, and He can create the answer to your need right here, right now.

There’s no doubt about it. God will provide for you. Trust in Him. You won’t be disappointed.

Let’s remember who God is – God is the God who provides.

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