ST. STEPHEN’S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Where God’s saving Word is taught in its truth and purity.
St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School | Beaver Dam, WI | 920.885.3309
Where God’s saving Word is taught in its truth and purity.
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7/22/21; 7/23/21; 7/25/21
St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church—Beaver Dam, WI
Parents bring their first child home. All of a sudden reality hits them. They are now responsible for another life. Despite looking everywhere, and perhaps even asking the doctor, the new child does not come with an instructional manual. New parents can read all the books, articles, and talk with veteran parents, but they need to find their own groove. They will learn as they gain experience.
Guess what? The baby never worries. The baby knows that whether they are the first child or fifth child they will be taken care of. The baby knows they will be fed. The baby knows they will be changed. The baby knows parents will play games and read books to them. The baby has no cares or worries. They trust that their parents will meet their needs.
The older one gets the more that trusting nature goes away. Worry takes its place. Cares and concerns, which once were always taken care of with no second thought, cause stress. Then we reach adulthood. Worry is all we do sometimes instead of trust. Why does worry increase as we get older? Why do we worry even though our needs are always met? Why do we jump back into the troublesome sin of a lack of faith, when God promises to provide? When we find ourselves worrying, we must go back to God’s Word. We need to assure ourselves of God’s Almighty hand which will always provide for us.
The Lord Knows Our Needs
The nation of Israel had a history of lacking trust in God, especially during their time from escaping Egypt traveling to the Promised Land. It started out early. Our lesson took place two months after they left Egypt. When they closed their eyes, they still had to have dreams of the amazing Ten Plagues they witnessed. They were going to Canaan. God promised this land to Abraham and his descendants. It would be theirs. Their excitement should have been higher than the Buck’s fanbase in winning an NBA title.
After two short months, they wanted to return to Egypt. The reason, “If only we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat around pots of meat and ate as much food as we wanted, but now you have brought us out into this wilderness to have this whole community die of hunger” (Exodus 16:3). Their stomachs growled with hunger. They had no food in the middle of the desert. With each passing rumbling of hunger pains their complaints grew. Things had gotten so bad that they wanted to turn around to become slaves once more. At least they would have food to fill their bellies.
The Israelites thought they were going to die. If God brought the people out of Egypt with a powerful hand, would he leave them to starve in the desert? Could God not provide for such a large crowd of people, so maybe they should turn back to Egypt? Those thoughts should be stricken from the minds of the Israelites. God would provide for them. “At evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the Glory of the LORD, because he has heard your constant grumbling against the LORD” (Exodus 16:6-7). God would not abandon his people. He would provide for them.
“Now the LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and as much bread as you want in the morning, because the LORD has heard your grumbling against him” (Exodus 16:8). Here in the desert the Lord would provide. In the morning the people would wake up to find manna on the ground. In the evening quail would cover the camp. The people would have bread and meat to eat.
All of this would not be a onetime occurrence. God would not just provide once to get the people off his back. God would provide every day. All the people had to do was trust. God said, “Watch what I will do. I will rain down bread from heaven for you, and the people will go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test whether they will follow my instructions or not” (Exodus 16:4). Each day God would rain down food from heaven. Every evening quail came into the camp. They would not have to wonder where their next meal would come from. They had to trust God to give them what they needed.
That night quail covered the camp. When they woke up the next morning, they saw thin flakes on the ground. They wondered what it was. Moses replied, “This is the bread which the LORD has given to you as food to eat” (Exodus 16:15). The Lord knew their needs and supplied for them.
We look around us. We live in the richest country in the world. We have stores stocked with food where we can go to pick what we want. We can dine at any kind of restaurant. We can buy goods simply by sitting at our computer.
We have all of these things, and then some, however we turn around only to say we do not have anything. We do not have the newest and best. We do not have like our neighbor. We do not possess the things that we thought we would, or should have. Soon we find ourselves right next to the Israelites complaining that we do not have enough.
We need to take those concerns and worries to God. We pray in the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer that God would give us our daily bread. Do we trust those words? Do we come to that part of the Lord’s Prayer only to find ourselves not really sure God can deliver on his promises?
With that petition God promises to provide for our needs. Even before we know our needs, God knows. We look around seeing all of the riches that we possess. We have a roof over our head. We can get in cars and go wherever we want. We have cell phones to stay in contact with people. We take vacations. All of a sudden, we see that God provides so much more than we can ever ask.
We simply have to trust him. Our worry so often shows a lack of trust in God’s promises to take care of us. Will God really leave us alone? He has already defeated sin, death, and the devil on our behalf, will he not be able to take care of our daily needs? God created this entire world, and still holds it together, will he not be able to know what we need? We trust. God opens his hands to bless us richly each and every day.
When we take a look around us, we see all the blessings only to praise God for those blessings. Moses hits the nail on the head of the people’s problem. They are grumbling against God. “Who are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the LORD” (Exodus 16:8). They say that they do not have enough. They are not thankful for the things right before them.
Our attitude can be the very same thing. We pray and pray for something. When we receive it, or something much better, we forget to praise God for those blessings. Our thoughts are always focused on what we need, we fail to return to praise God for the things we have.
Our hearts fill with thanksgiving each day. Everyday we wake up is a new blessing from God. Every moment we see his tremendous blessings. Our thanks is unending to God for all the things that he gives.
I admit I don’t always offer my prayers of thanks as I should. We need to prioritize those prayers of thanks to God for what he has given to us. When we do, we are content. Our worries decrease. We focus on the good things God gives to us. We find contentment in what we can do, not in what we want or think we should be doing. A heart of thanksgiving is a heart at rest on God’s promises. A heart of praise is one that trusts God for all he supplies.
As we get older, our worries do not need to increase. We simply trust. We trust in our Lord who alone will give us our daily bread for all the things we need. As we receive those blessings from our Lord’s hand, we praise him for it. Our God is great. Our God is generous. He will give us what we need. We rest knowing this one fact, The Lord Knows Our Needs. Amen.