When speaking through the prophet Isaiah, God promises to always give divine direction to his people. He says that whether you go to the right or the left, you can be sure of hearing God’s voice directing you on the path you should take (Isaiah 30:21). But what happens when God leads you into paths that you are not ready for?
What Does It Mean That Where God Guides He Provides?
This statement means that God will always ensure that he has provided for you before he leads you into something. Someone once said that God’s voice will never lead where his hand will not supply. In the words of Jesus, a laborer is worth his pay.
God Provides for Israel In the Wilderness
The journey of Israelites from Egypt towards Canaan provides one of the best illustrations of How God always provides where he guides. The story began when Israel cried out to God for help because they couldn’t take slavery anymore. And so God sent them a deliverer (Moses) to get them out of captivity and lead them to Canaan. Even though crossing over into Canaan was a short journey that should have lasted for less than two months, they ended up spending at least 40 years wandering in the wilderness. The Bible says that God caused them to hunger so that he may teach them that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth (Deuteronomy 8:3).
However, God also made sure that Israel was provided for the 40 years that they were in the wilderness. Here are some of the noteworthy provisions that God made for Israel.
- Manna: God provided the Israelites with a miraculous food called manna. Manna appeared on the ground each morning and could be collected by the Israelites for their daily sustenance. It was described as a sweet, bread-like substance and was provided six days a week, with a double portion given on the sixth day to sustain them through the Sabbath when no manna would fall (Exodus 16:1-36).
- Quail: In addition to manna, God sent quail to the camp of the Israelites to provide them with meat to eat (Exodus 16:13).
- Water: God also miraculously provided water for the Israelites in the wilderness. One of the most well-known instances is when God instructed Moses to strike a rock with his staff, and water gushed forth to quench the thirst of the people (Exodus 17:1-7).
- Guidance: God guided the Israelites through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22). This not only provided physical direction but also served as a symbol of God’s presence and guidance.
- Protection: God protected the Israelites from various dangers in the wilderness, including enemies who sought to harm them. The parting of the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape from Pharaoh’s army is one of the most dramatic examples of God’s protection (Exodus 14:21-31).
The fact that God could provide for the children of Israel while they were in the wilderness for the entire 40 years is evidence enough that he will always provide wherever he leads.
God Feeds Elijah (Widow of Zarephth and Ravens)
Acting on God’s providence, Elijah declared a drought. It was one of the worst droughts that Israel had ever seen. At the height of the drought, God directed his servant the prophet to go hide next to the brook where God miraculously fed him using ravens
So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook. 1 Kings 17:4-6
But because the drought was so severe, the brook eventually dried up as well. However, when this happened, God led Elijah to the house of a widow whom God had prepared to feed him. The widow was almost running out of food and was preparing to make the last bread for her and her son. But when she obeyed the instruction to feed the man of God, God miraculously multiplied her oil and flour and she never ran out of food until the time when the drought was over.
Jesus sends the 72
In Luke 10:1-24, Jesus sent out the 72 disciples in pairs to take the gospel of the Kingdom of God into the different towns. One important aspect of this mission is that Jesus promises divine provision for the disciples. As such, he instructs them not to carry a change of clothes or to carry extra money with them. Instead, he tells them that the laborer is worthy of his wages and that when they enter a town and are welcomed, they should stay there, eat what is set before them, and heal the sick.
This was arguably one of the most remarkable tests of faith that Jesus had given the disciples. The disciples agree and leave for the mission and shortly afterward, they come back with awesome praise reports. Not only had they seen the power of God at work but just as Jesus promised, all their needs had been taken care of.
The significance of this mission and the promise of divine provision is to demonstrate the importance of faith, trust in God, and reliance on Him for sustenance. It also highlights the idea that those who answer the call to serve God in ministry will be taken care of by Him.
In conclusion, the principle that “Where God guides, He provides” stands as a timeless truth affirmed by the stories of faith and divine provision throughout the scriptures. From the wilderness journey of the Israelites, where God miraculously sustained them for 40 years, to Elijah’s miraculous sustenance by ravens and the widow, these narratives reveal God’s to always meet the needs of those he calls. Even in the New Testament, when Jesus sent out the 72 disciples, He emphasized the importance of relying on divine provision. Their mission became a testament to faith, trust, and God’s abundant care. These stories encourage us to answer God’s call with faith, knowing that He will provide for our every need. Where God guides, His provision is not just a promise; it is a reality that resonates throughout the ages.