February 14 | Leviticus 23:33-44
SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Jehovah Jireh (God Provides)
by Dave Mann
In John 6, Jesus claims to be the true bread that came down from heaven. The obvious message, of course, is that Jesus Himself was the fulfillment of the manna in the wilderness. (See Exodus 16 and Numbers 11.) In the very next chapter, John the gospel writer shares the account of Jesus during the Jewish Feast of Booths, which was in remembrance of the temporary dwellings the Israelites constructed repeatedly as they wandered for 40 years. For anyone raised in a Jewish home, the connection between John 6 and 7 would have been in flashing lights.
The Festival of Booths was an annual week-long celebration complete with:
a sacred assembly on the first day
temporary booths in which a family would live throughout the festival
special offerings and sacrifices made daily
a special assembly on the last day
Why observe this festival? The answer comes in verse 43: "so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God." The people of Israel were to remember that even though the entire nation wandered in the wilderness for 40 long years, the Lord took care of them. God provided them with water, bread (manna), meat (quail), protection, his Word, and confidence that they belonged to the Lord of heaven and earth.
In my less self-aware moments, I am tempted to shake my head at the foolishness of the Israelites, a people who had seen the Lord’s power and miracles and yet they forgot! I think, “How could they have been so short-sighted and dull of memory? I’m glad I’m not like that!” Oops. Yes, I am exactly like that. We all need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness. Many people will keep a journal in which to record the times that God has guided them through difficult experiences when they have seen healings and provisions and bringing people into their lives at just the right moments. Then, they go back to read through testimonies of the acts of God in their own lives.
Every week, every day, we need reminders of God’s provision.