God our provider…

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Hosea 13: 4 Yet I have been the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt; you know no God but me,  and besides me there is no savior. 5 It was I who fed you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. 6 When I fed them, they were satisfied; they were satisfied, and their heart was proud; therefore they forgot me. 

The Lord is saying to Israel via the prophet Hosea that they had forgotten who was their provider. V.5 recalls how God fed Israel as they wandered for 40 years in the desert wilderness. With so little vegetation and few animals to eat for food in the desert, God sent manna each morning so the people wouldn’t starve. In that case there was no question where manna came from. It came as a gift of God to the people.

But when they entered the Promised Land of Canaan they no longer needed manna since it was a land “flowing with milk and honey”. The trap was that the people started “working” the fertile land to produce food and so came to believe they ate via their own hard work. Sustenance was no longer seen as a gift of God, but “wages” for their own labors. In truth, both things were true. Yes the people worked the land and yes God continued to provide the food as a gift. But “they were satisfied, and their heart was proud”.

This is an important reminder for me this morning. Do I work hard? Yes. Is what I “earn” still a gift from God? Yes. How do I demonstrate this truth in my life? I return a tithe of my income to the Lord. If everything I have is a gift of God then returning 10% is not a burden but a privilege. This practice of trust in the Lord helps us to grow in faith. And in many cases tithing results in more income, not less.

Lord thank you that everything we have is a gift from you. Give us grace to stay humble in our productivity, recognizing You as the source of every blessing. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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