Power to Multiply
Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How am I to set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat.” 2 Kings 4:42, 43, RSV.
“And there came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the first-fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
“And his servant said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord” (2 Kings 4:42-44).
He who worked this miracle in behalf of 100 men in the Old Testament times wrought a similar wonder for 5000 when as a Man He preached the gospel to men. In the wilderness Christ supplied His people not only with bread but with clear flowing streams.
It is the grace of God on the small portion that makes it all-sufficient. God’s hand can multiply it an hundredfold. From His resources He can spread a table in the wilderness for more than a million people. By the touch of His hand God can increase His scanty provision, and make it sufficient for all. It was His power that increased the loaves and corn in the hands of the sons of the prophets.
The Lord has given His life to the trees and vines of His creation. His word can increase or decrease the fruit of the land. If men would open their understanding to discern the relation between nature and nature’s God, faithful acknowledgments of the Creator’s power would be heard. Without the life of God, nature would die. His creative works are dependent upon Him. He bestows life-giving properties on all that nature produces. We are to regard the trees laden with fruit as the gift of God, just as much as though He placed the fruit in our hands.
In feeding the 5,000 Jesus lifts the veil from the world of nature, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised for our good. In the production of earth’s harvests God is working a miracle every day. Through natural agencies the same work is accomplished that was wrought in the feeding of the multitude…. It is God who is every day feeding millions from earth’s harvest fields. Men are called upon to cooperate with God in the care of the grain and the preparation of the loaf, and because of this they lose sight of the divine agency…. He desires us to recognize Him in His gifts, that they may be, as He intended, a blessing to us