Zechariah 10:1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds.
He gives showers of rain to men,
and plants of the field to everyone.
I think many modern readers completely miss the significance of this verse. We are so urbanized that we associate water only with a faucet or a swimming pool. We have lost sight of the reality that for us to have fresh water, it has to evaporate from the seas and the ground, condense into clouds, and then precipitate as rain or snow. On top of that, back when this was written, many cultures thought of Baal as “the storm god.” Zechariah is telling the people to stop praying to Baal if they need rain. That’s why the next verse refers to idols. He’s telling the people to ask for what they need, but to be sure they don’t ask the wrong god. Jesus put it in terms that apply to every age and culture: “Give us today the food we need for today.” (Matthew 6:11) Asking for needs to be met is one of the fundamental elements of prayer. (I would say that the others are praise, thanks, and intercession.) We needn’t feel guilty about asking! Whereas it is certainly true that God knows our needs before we ask Him, (Matthew 6:8) asking Him helps us understand that everything we have comes from Him. Because that factor is so important, often we don’t have because we don’t ask! (James 4:2) When things are abundant, we almost universally fall into taking them for granted, and that can be very dangerous. It is likewise dangerous to think that we somehow control the supply. We are expected to be industrious, but the supply is ultimately, and always, from God.
This of course applies to me just as it does to everyone. Growing up in a Southern Baptist missionary household, I wasn’t aware of a direct connection between my parents’ activities and our family income. Thankfully, we didn’t have to beg people for money, as many missionaries are required to do, but I did grow up with the rather amorphous feeling that God was our supply. Right now, collecting both minimum Social Security as well as the minimum Japanese public pension, I have the risk of feeling that the government is my supply! Actually, there are those in the US who are actively working to promote that thinking, but it is dangerous on many levels, as well as being idolatrous. We have a self-employed house painter in the church, and he is well aware that unless God supplies customers, he has no income. Frankly, that’s not an enviable position. I need to ask God for His supply not only for my own needs but also for the needs of those around me, and be willing to be a channel of that supply as I do so.
Father, thank You for Your gracious supply. Help me be the steward You want me to be of all that You supply, so that in everything Your purposes may be accomplished on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!