The Lord replied to them: “I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.” Joel 2:19
The Lord provides everything; He gives us everything we need to live and live well. In this verse, the things God provides – grain, new wine, and olive oil – were staples of the ancient world. They were also some of the things that were used in sacrifices to God. What’s even more, in providing for us, God provides Himself. As Jesus said (in quoting Deuteronomy 8), “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
In other words, everything we need is from God. Everything we need comes from God and is of God. He even provides what we need to worship Him. Food is great; I love food; so do you. But our first, best food is the word of God. Our souls need feeding as much as our bodies, maybe even more (as our souls continue on after our body dies here). The only way to feed our souls is to bask in how God feeds us.
That means devouring the food He gives us. His Word; the sacraments; regular, active prayer in all things in our lives; learning how to talk with others about what our faith in Jesus means to us. God feeds our souls in ways to nourish them forever so that we never feel spiritual hunger again. He does it through these means, where His Spirit actively works in our lives. He reshapes us into who He means for us to be. And when we let that happen, we can usually find we’re fully satisfied.
That comes with a promise: to never again be shamed by other people. Oh, the unbelieving world will try. We will still be ridiculed, mocked, even persecuted for believing in Jesus, but He will be with us throughout. That means our character – what matters – is bulletproof because it’s found in Him. In all this, we will never be an object of scorn. The world looks down on Jesus and His Kingdom for many reasons, all of them based in some form of jealousy. When we’re blessed by Jesus, the hateful world actually envies us, wishing they could have what we know, not realizing (all along) that it’s available to them, too, if only they’ll submit to Him.
That’s the key, you see: submitting to the Lord in all things. When we do that, we find that He overwhelmingly provides His best to us in every way we can imagine. Feast on it.
For more reading: Leviticus 26:5, Deuteronomy 8:2-3, Psalm 4:7, Jeremiah 31:12, Ezekiel 34:29, Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4, Joel 2:20
Lord Jesus, You provide everything I need in the world. You are my food; You are my teacher and education; You are my life; You are my sole provider. All praise to You.