The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run into it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their strong city;
in their imagination it is like a high wall.Proverbs 18:10-11 NRSV
America is imploding on itself. And, unfortunately, as America goes, often goes the rest of the world. Home foreclosures are up; unemployment is up. Institutions that were reliable are shaky, at best. While it’s important to be prudent, there may soon be no good choices left that provide for a stable economic future . . . except obedience to the Word. As believers, we always have a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) because our trust isn’t in the institutions and economy of this world, but our hope is in the Lord. The apostle Peter wrote:
He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.,/span> 1 Peter 1:3b-4 NRSV
Our hope isn’t in the kinds of things that we can invest, accumulate, or even use in this world, but rather is in the inheritance kept for us in heaven.
We often focus on the things of this life: our housing, our food, our clothes, our jobs, our money, our investments, our retirement. And yet, the things — as believers — that we should be focusing on are not these:
“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:24-25, 31-34 NRSV
This is something my family is living right now, today. It’s hard not to think about, not to worry about where you will live tomorrow! It’s hard not to think about how to pay the bills, how to buy groceries. And yet, at every turn, when it seems darkest and that there is no provision, God is providing! And today, we have what we need.
Exodus 16 tells us the story about the manna. Manna was a heavenly grain, given by God, to the Israelites. Every morning they would go out from their tents and the manna would be laying on the ground. They would gather up the manna and make a bread that fulfilled all of their nourishment requirements. (They lived on manna for 40 years!). The interesting thing about the manna was that it would only last for that day; you couldn’t store it up. It would go bad . . . except from the sixth day to the seventh. On the seventh day — the day of rest — no manna would appear, but the manna from the sixth day would remain good for that seventh day.
God provided exactly what they needed to live and He provided it on a daily basis within the requirements of His Law. God will provide for all of us within the requirements of His Word. In other words, as we are told not to focus on money (we cannot serve two masters), but on His Word and learning to live in obedience to His Word, He will provide the rest. Money (financial resources, the things we need for daily life) are the easiest kinds of things for God to provide! And providing them are His job! Our job is to learn how to allow the fruit of the Spirit to flow through us!