But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So, they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. Mark 6:37-44
I like lavish. Full course dinners, elaborate tablescapes, opulent interior design, and the look of abundance. Have you ever taken one of those online tests to determine your style for car, house or clothes? Mine always come out on the extravagant side. It’s a choice for us, but for God, his only style is lavish. He is a good God and he gives good things. .
The feeding of the 5,000 lavishly demonstrates God’s overflowing goodness. The food was ordinary bread and fish, but in God’s hands it became extraordinary. God provided, the disciples distributed, and there was more than enough for all. Every person ate until they were satisfied and there were still twelve baskets of leftovers. There was no limit on what they could eat. In addition to the miracle, the disciples themselves were invited to participate in God’s hospitality and grace extended to the crowd. This audience would have easily recalled the stories passed down from generations of manna in the wilderness. In both the feeding of the 5,000 and bread from heaven, God lavishly provided for all. Sometimes bread doesn’t come from the sky, it comes through our hands.
Read Psalm 23. It could be considered a picture of God as a lavish provider. David, the author, changes his thoughts towards the future, from shepherd and his sheep to host and his guests. Like a shepherd he leads, we are restored, we are comforted, our cup runs over and goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. Our Lavish Provider prepares a table before each of us in the presence of our enemies. He is always with us, protecting and defending us. They can only watch as He anoints our heads with oil and our cups overflow. God provides life abundant for us now and for eternity. Our future is to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. How do you see God provide in this Psalm? And for you personally?
By Donna Burns