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10 Characteristics of God as a Provider
Characteristics of God
What is your greatest need right now? I’m not talking about your wants. I mean your real needs. Do you need a way to provide food or shelter for your family? Do you need wisdom to make the right decision? Do you need comfort after a hard loss? God can provide all of these things, and more! God is eager to provide blessings for those who truly seek after him. Sometimes, God provides directly, like he did for the Israelites in the wilderness with manna. Other times, God’s provision comes through the work of his people, like the saints in the New Testament who provided for Paul and others as they spread the gospel.
God is a Provider. Although talking about God as provider typically refers to food and drink throughout the Bible, God also provides in other ways. In these verses, God provides a ram for a sacrifice and he provides us what we need to live a godly life.
Genesis 22:13-14 – Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
God is a Savior. The Bible often talks about a God who saves (often used in the same context as rescues or delivers) but also about God our Savior or the God who is our salvation. Although Jesus is the one who came to earth to die for our sins and is the pathway to salvation, the Bible also talks directly about God as Savior.
Hosea 13:4 – But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me.
1 Timothy 4:10 – That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
God is a Comforter. When you are having a tough time, whether that is loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or some other difficult situation, God will provide comfort to you if you cling to him. In the end, he is the ultimate comforter – he will wipe away anything that causes grief.
Isaiah 49:13 – Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
God Blesses. God has ultimate control over everything, as we saw in the God is Sovereign group of characteristics. God uses that power to bless those who follow him. Sometimes that is physical blessing. Other times, that is spiritual or eternal blessing.
Genesis 12:2-3 – [God to Abraham] “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Psalm 67:6-7 – The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
God Satisfies. Similar to God is a Provider, the “God satisfies” characteristic often refers to food and drink – people eat what God provides and are satisfied. However, God can also satisfy in other ways. In particular, he can satisfy our souls if we remain in his presence.
Psalm 17:15 – As for me [David], I will be vindicated and will see your [God’s] face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
Joel 2:19 – 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.”
God is Caring. As a father cares for his children, so God cares for those who lean on him.
Psalm 55:22 (NLT*) – Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
*I used NLT instead of NIV because NLT for this verse has personal significance to me.
God is a Redeemer. The concept of Redeemer is prominent in the Bible. It provides a picture of someone who purchases the life of another to free them from slavery. God, through Jesus, has paid the price to redeem you from Satan.
Exodus 6:6 – “Therefore, say to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.’”
Galatians 3:13-14 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit.
God is Hope. The only source of true hope in this world is God. If we put our hope in the things of this world, we will be constantly disappointed. Only God can provide true hope for eternal life.
Psalm 71:5 – For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.
1 Timothy 6:17 – Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
God is Wisdom. Wisdom is not only knowing information but knowing how to apply that information correctly in every circumstance. God’s wisdom surpasses all human wisdom. In fact, the Bible says that God’s foolishness is even more wise than human’s greatest wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25)!
Job 12:13 – To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.
Proverbs 3:19-20 – By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.
God is Our Shepherd. The picture of God as Shepherd encapsulates many of these characteristics. The shepherd provides for and cares for his sheep, just as God provides for and cares for his people. The shepherd also guides, protects, and rescues his sheep, just as we learned God does for us in the God is Warrior study.
Psalm 80:1-2 – Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us.
Revelation 7:17 – For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
After reading these characteristics, how do you see God providing for the needs in your life? Can you think of a particular person or group who has been the avenue through which God provides for you? God can provide in so many ways, whether that’s money to help with bills, food for your table, a friend to sit with you while you mourn, or a wise friend who gives you godly advice. Maybe God is even using something as simple as this newsletter to provide a way to grow in your relationship with him.
The verses listed here are just a small taste of what the Bible says to support these characteristics of God. If you’d like to study more about God as a provider over the next month, I’d encourage you to download and print the premium resource that goes along with this study. It is a “Bible Bingo” with 25 Scripture passages that provide further evidence for the characteristics of God we discussed above.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about God as a provider. How do these characteristics of God speak to your heart?