Willis“Elisha said, “Pass it around to the people to eat.” His servant said, “For a hundred men? There is not nearly enough!” Elisha said, “Just go ahead and do it. GOD says there’s plenty” (2 Kings 4:43).

Many times in our life the cupboard will be bare, our pockets empty and it’s time for dinner and we wonder what are we going to eat?

That’s when we go digging through the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see what our option is. Suddenly we find something to eat and a smile crosses our face and we say “Jehovah-Jireh!”

So what does, Jehovah-Jireh mean?  “Jehovah-Jireh,” is one of the many names of God, in the Old Testament. “Jehovah-Jireh” means, The LORD is a “Provider.”  In Genesis 22:14, the name is memorialized by Abraham; when God provided a ram in the bush, to be sacrificed in the place of his son Isaac.

In the above scripture from II Kings 4:42-44, Elisha’s faith in this principle is the object of the story. “One day a man arrived from Baal Shalishah. He brought Elisha twenty loaves of fresh-baked bread from the early harvest, along with a few apples from the orchard. Elisha said, “Pass it around to the people to eat.” His servant said, “For a hundred men? There is not nearly enough!” Elisha said, “Just go ahead and do it. GOD says there’s plenty.” And sure enough, there was. He passed around what he had—they not only ate, but had leftovers.”  2 Kings 4:42-44 MSG

Elisha took the bread and made a little food go a long way. Having freely received the bread, he freely gave it. God promises us in the Psalms that, “I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.” (Psalms 132:15). The point being those whom God feeds, He fills; and what He blesses, comes to much.

In another instance of this principle Jesus in John 6:1-13 feeds His hearers and His feeding miracle goes far beyond Elisha’s.

“When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.” 

Both miracles teach us, that those who wait upon God and stay in the way of duty, can count on being fed and supplied by God through a form of Divine Providence.

Christ addressed himself to Philip, who was the disciple with Him from the start. He had seen all Jesus’ miracles, (including His turning the water to wine); therefore, Philip could have said, “Lord, if it’s your will, it would be easy for You, to feed them all.’’

This whole dialog between Christ and Philip was to test Philip’s faith. Christ already knew what He was going to feed those poor people. Jesus is never at a lost about His own counsel.

He really wanted Philip so say Teacher you have the power to feed them. Instead Philip’s focus was upon their deficiency, and not God’s abundant provision.

Christ could have said Philip, How is it that I have been with you all this time, and yet you still don’t know me? Our God is a God of more than enough! When you remember what God did in providing manna daily in the wilderness, He can and will do today.

Christ and Elisha both ordered the left overs to be gathered up. But not till all were filled; the lesson here is ‘we must not hoard’ or ‘lay up until later.

The gift we get and have from a mighty God, whether large or small, comes with this proviso; “Our willful waste”, will bring us into ‘a mighty want’ for that we have wasted. This type of waste in life, applies to all meaning, all people, all places and all things.

This is how a mighty God’s abundance principal works. It not only daily fills our cup, it makes our cup daily overflow; and it makes our daily bread more than enough for today and with food to spare.

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door UCC in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or pastor@churchoftheopendoormiami.org