A Simple Lesson in Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
“…he that gathered little had no lack…” (Ex. 16:18).
“Neither was there any among them that lacked…” (Acts 4:34).
“…that ye may have lack of nothing” (I Thes. 4:11,12).
As we can see here, throughout the Bible, God has been concerned that His people do not lack for the basic necessities of “food and raiment” (I Tim. 6:8). However, as we shall see, the means by which He provides for these necessities has changed. To begin with, when the manna fell in the wilderness, Moses told Israel:
“…Gather of it every man according to his eating… And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less… he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack…” (Ex. 16:16-18).
Here we see that God miraculously provided daily bread for Israel during their wilderness journey, and they “lacked nothing” (Deut. 2:7). We know He also supernaturally prevented their shoes and clothing from wearing out during those forty years (Deut. 29:5). But as we turn to the New Testament, we find that the means by which God provided for the needs of His people changed. At Pentecost, we read,
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:44,45).
“Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:34,35).
As you can see, the means by which God provided for His people changed dramatically. Here He provided their needs by instructing them to pool their resources and live in a communal state.
Today in the dispensation of Grace, the means by which He supplies our needs has changed yet again. Our Apostle Paul tells us:
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we have commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (I Thes. 4:11,12).
Once more we see that the means by which God provides His people with the necessities of life has changed. Today a Christian’s needs are met by God as he goes about “working with his hands the thing which is good” (Eph. 4:28).
And so we are reminded anew that while God Himself never changes, the way in which He deals with men has changed dispensationally throughout the ages.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.