Israel Lived Under An Open Heaven, We Can!
‘Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.’ (Psalms 78: 23-24)
The bible tells us that God ‘Opened Heaven’ to provide miraculous provision to the nation of Israel during its wilderness wanderings. But God’s supernatural supply of their needs do not stop there—the wilderness manna was a sign of what to come. Israel’s destiny was to live in Canaan and continue a lifestyle of faith—dependent upon God for heaven-sent rain.
‘The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in his season and to bless all the work of your hands.’’ (Deut 28:12).
Everything that is recorded in the Bible about Israel’s history is for our benefit and instruction.
(I Cor 10:11) the nation of Israel had to learn how to live by the provision of an open heaven, and so can we.
Here are some principles we can learn from Israel’s history:
How to Position For an Open Heaven
1. Understand The Heart of the Father
We need to understand God’s motivation, in Israel’s history and for us today. He isn’t looking for dependent servants, he is seeking relationships, he desires sons and daughters.
‘When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son… I led them with cords of human kindness with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.’ (Hosea 11:1-4). The manna, the rain, were a revelation: not of provision, but of a provider, a loving father.
2. Intimacy and Obedience
The nation of Israel was in the right place, at the right time for a miracle. And the reason that Israel was positioned for a heavenly miracle of provision was because on man, Moses, had an intimate relationship with God. Having
heard God’s voice, Moses was able to lead Israel in obedience to him. Moses later left written instructions so that Israel could continually live in obedience and reap the heavenly blessings. Intimacy with the father is the starting point of our miracle of provision. When we hear Him speak to us, and move out in faith upon His instructions, we will be in the right place, at the right time, for a miracle of supernatural supply.
3. Change Your Source
Move from self-effort to dependency upon God Having moved out in faith, Israel had no source of supply other than God. In Deut 11, God spoke to Israel saying:
‘the land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven… so if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season.’ (Deut 11:10-11, 13-14).
Here, God is comparing the resource of Egypt with that of Canaan. The source of Egypt’s life giving water was the river Nile. It was predictable and safe, it was self-sufficient but a limited means of supply. The Nile’s water could be accessed by main power irrigation. When the Nile flooded. Irrigation would take place naturally, but during the remainder of the year, it was hard manual labour to pump water into the fields.
In Canaan however, the countryside was primarily irrigated by rainfall—and dependent upon those rains coming in their due seasons. The picture is of an entire nation dependent upon the rain. Even their yearly calendar revolved around the rains coming in their due seasons and God made it clear that he was the source of the rain and that he could pour it out or withhold it at will.
He said, ‘Serve Me with gladness and obedience and I will send the rain. From that open heaven—because you and I were meant to do this together. You were never meant to be alone.’ (See Deut 28)
4. Become a Co-Labourer with God
The life of faith is one partnership and co-labour together with God. Even though God sent the manna, the people of Israel still had to collect it, prepare it and cook it. (NUM 11:7-9) Even though God sent the rain upon the land of Canaan, the people still had to labour and toil the ground.
Likewise, in order to position for God’s provision for our lives, we still need to work hard to follow Biblical principles and to exercise wisdom as well as faith. We also partner with God through prayer.
5. Choose the Life of Faith
It is not easy to live a life of faith. It is not easy to trust God for His supply when He instructs you to step out in Obedience to him. As it is often said, FAITH is spelled ‘R-I- S-K.’ it is an amazing thing that having left a life of slavery, many Israelites still crave the provision of Egypt. (Numbers 11) when the Israelites said, let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt, (Numbers 14:1-4) they were saying,
- We want safety, we want predictability.
- Also We want to do things our own way, in our own strength.
- And then We want to be self-sufficient.
They were really rejecting God himself. Sadly, they preferred bondage with familiarity, to freedom and having to go out on a limb to trust God.
6. Celebrate God’s Provision
The feasts and celebrations of Israel were established around the seasons and the provision of rainfall. Like Israel, we need to ‘mark the moment’ and celebrate and remember God’s supply for our lives, our families, our churches and ministries and our communities. He is a faithful and loving father. ‘it is the privilege of sons and daughters to feast at the father’s table.’
Courtesy: Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
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