Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Communion: Celebrating  God's  Providence
2 King 4:42-44

Shibu P Thomas,

Staten Island MTC

44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

The passage starts out with a man from Baal-Shalishah.  Who was this man from Baal-Shalishah? The fact is that this man has no name and no recognition of any kind in the passage. Of course he had a name but it was not important and the Bible does not acknowledge his name. This man gave what he could to the poor, or the church, or the needy.  It is also not important where he gave and the passage is not clear on where he gave.  The  passage teaches us that when we give, we should not feel the need to be recognized because our God in heaven recognizes us and will not forget what we have done for the church and the needy.  We should not give expecting something in return from anyone, even from God, because it is our Christian responsibility to give what we can to whomever needs it.  This is a very important concept to understand.  

This man gave twenty loaves of bread along with some heads of grain.  We don’t know how wealthy this man was in order to understand the magnitude of his giving.  Maybe twenty loaves was nothing to him and it did not matter if he gave it away.  On the other hand this man could have been poor and these twenty loaves was all that he had and like the poor widow he gave all he had.  The passage however does not dwell on this but just states that he gave twenty loaves.  Only the person who is giving knows what he is giving to others and if that is in  the right proportion to his wealth.  God does not expect us to give everything away but as a Christian it is our duty to give . “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded” .Luke 12:48.  What we  give to others should not just be money and food, but it must also include our time, talents, and services.  

We often have doubts  just like the servant doubted.  The servant saw what was given by the man and sarcastically asked whether the twenty loaves was sufficient to feed the hundreds who were waiting to be fed.  We have a tendency to believe what we see and not consider the power of God. God, however, sees and provides accordingly.  God knows our needs but sometimes He gives us more so that we may share with others in need.

Elisha knew the amount of food which was given by the man and that it was not enough for all, but he also trusted God to provide what was needed for all.  Elisha, without hesitation or concern, told the servant to give it to the people to eat.  After all had eaten there were still some left over food.  Where is our faith?  Most of the time we are like the servant believing only what we see.  Our prayer should be that  all of us will have faith like Elisha. God’s providence is far greater than we can imagine.  We must never lose faith even though there are many terrible things happening around us, especially to the faithful Christians.


Lord, help us to accept all that we have and trust in your Providence. Help us to have faith like Elisha and not to doubt like the servant.  Please forgive our faults and help us to be better Christians by serving others in need.
Believe in God’s all-encompassing Providence in our lives!

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