But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19
The account of Elijah and the widow of Zarepath in 1 Kings 17:13-14:
“13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.”
After Elijah had eaten, the widow and her son would eat. Isn’t it wonderful that God puts us so close to Him? Immediately after God, man follows in importance. God does not place cows, or horses and, most certainly, not dogs or cats, in second place! No, He places man.
Writing to the Philippians in Philippians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul follows the same pattern that we see with Elijah and the widow of Zarepath. After telling them about the importance of their offering to God, he then tells them,
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
When it comes to importance, there is nothing that can supersede God; certainly not us with our well-documented failings and shortcomings! The Bible says of God:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (Jam. 1:17)
He alone is perfect in holiness. That is an attribute that no creature can lay even the shadow of a claim to. Why should God not be first in everything? In the world, men are put first because of the qualities they possess. In the Spirit, God has that peculiar attribute that puts Him first above everything else.
And yet… God has gone even further than we could ask or think. In giving His Son Jesus Christ for our sins, He has of His own will put us ahead of Himself! That is unimaginable, but it is true. It is in this difficult-to-comprehend line of love that Paul writes the Romans:
“1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…” (Rom. 9:1-3)
That is unimaginable love. God has put us first!
It is in this regard that we should count it an immeasurable grace to have God think of us the way He does. We are not worthy of it, yet God regards us. Job had this revelation, for in Job 7:17-18 he says:
“17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? 18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?”
Oh, the power and grace in these words! Notice Job understood that God not only magnifies man and has set His heart upon him but, in order for this state of affairs to be manifested, God visits man every morning and tries him! Should we therefore not rejoice when various trials come our way? As the Apostle James says:
“2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Jam. 1:2-4
That is how God has set His heart on man. He has not set His heart on man so that man can have his fill of money and worldly material things. On the contrary, it is so his soul may prosper.
And that is how we can truly appreciate the grace of God upon our lives.
[Amidst a tangle of assorted greens, a lone sunflower plant provides a graceful contrast]