God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
In our last post, we considered the suffering of Job and how God was intimately involved in that experience. Some have a hard time swallowing the fact that adversity ultimately comes from God’s hand, but Job never wavered on this point. He rebuked his wife’s foolishness by asking, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Immediately after this question, the word of God declares, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10) He was right to attribute all of these things as being ultimately from the hand of God. I would like us to take a journey through the scriptures to see that we must come to the same conclusion as Job in this area if we truly believe God is the almighty Creator and Ruler over all. The first point in this series is that God gives life, breath, strength–as our text today says “all things”–to ALL of His creation. We can only continue each day because of His sustaining power.
It goes without saying that, in order to survive, all living creatures must eat, but from where does that sustenance come? In Mt 6:11, the Lord Jesus taught us to pray to our heavenly Father to give us this day our daily bread! Ps 136:25 says it is the Lord “Who gives food to all flesh, for His mercy endures forever.” It is of God’s mercy that His creation is sustained! He pours His rain upon the just and the unjust. (Mt 5:45) Whether saved or lost, believing or unbelieving, the reason you had food to eat this week was because God provided it. “The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Ps 145:15-16)
Perhaps you’re in the habit of thanking the Lord for your food, but what about your breath? That’s right, air is flowing in and out of your lungs right now because God granted you your next breath. “Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it…” (Is 42:5) Job instructs us that the creation often has greater understanding than mankind in this area. Man in his pride forgets his absolute dependence upon God, but if we could ask the creation, they would cry out that He is our only hope of life:
But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?
In speaking of the Son of God, Col 1:16-17 reveals “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” I like that word “consist”! Many translations render it “hold together”. That’s exactly what the original Greek suggests. Without Christ, the world would simply come apart! He holds all things together by His mighty power, sustaining daily all of His creation. It was a lack of recognition and thanksgiving for God’s daily, sustaining grace that brought judgment upon the Babylonian king Belshazzar. God’s accusation against him was, “you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.” May we not be guilty of such a heinous crime and instead give our great God the glory that is due Him, daily thanking Him for His provision.