Looking Through Time
Everybody loves a nice, grilled piece of meat. At least, anybody with good taste does. It’s easy to take for granted that delicious steak that just came off the grill. But for Christians, how should we think about that wonderful cut of beef?
We know God provides us with the food we need, but this came from a grocery store. Even more than that, it came from a large, refrigerated box stocked full of other choice cuts of meat for our buying pleasure. How did we get to that grocery store to buy the steak?
It may be more difficult to see, but God provides us with all these luxuries too. I personally love this concept. That God is so rich in mercy He has blessed us with modern grandeur. Grocery stores, cars, even refrigerated box cars. You may be thinking, wait, didn’t people invent these modern technologies? And you would be right, they did.
But let’s think a little bit more about those modern technologies for a moment. This summer, while recuperating from an injury I suffered from a car accident, I had a lot of time to watch TV. Are you familiar with the History channel show called “The Food that Built America?” I binged that show this summer. I was obsessed. But as I watched episode after episode of groundbreaking inventions for foods that we take for granted now and foods that have shaped our culture, I realized that God is at work behind these inventions.
The Lord takes care of us and knows our needs. When Jesus talks about anxiety in the Gospel of Matthew, he uses a fantastic example that I think applies here also. “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26). God knows the birds need food, he created them after all; and so, God provides.
How much more will he provide for us who are certainly worth more to the Lord than the birds? And he has. God has provided for us abundantly. The luxury of getting in your car, going to a grocery store and having all varieties of food at our disposal is something God has given us out of his gracious mercy and loving kindness.
Before the 1970s, going to a huge warehouse type building with thousands of food brands at your disposal was rare. Locations like Sam’s Club and Costco which we are familiar with today hadn’t even been established yet. Then, in 1975, Sol Price made a groundbreaking business model: the wholesale store.
Sol Price founded Price Club — and American consumerism was completely changed. Wholesale corporations Costco and Sam’s Club would follow suit and bump Price Club out of the ring, but it would still be the basis for the grocery consumer market we see and take for granted today.
This is all a part of God’s sovereign plan. Nothing is a surprise to him. We’ve talked about God’s sovereignty over history before in this column, so as we follow that theme, does God’s sovereignty over history just stop when we talk about more modern things like the invention of wholesale groceries? Of course not.
Or what about non-believers? Does God still use them to create things for us to enjoy? I think yes. God can place ideas on our hearts and minds whether we are believers or not. A fantastic example of this is the Persian king, Cyrus in Ezra 1:1. “In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm.”
King Cyrus was a Zoroastrian, a believer of a prominent Persian religion. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion and shared similarities with Judaism, believing in one god, a heaven and hell. However, he was not Jewish like the Babylonian exiles he set free.
Yet, despite Cyrus not being Jewish, God still used him for his mercy upon his chosen Israelite people. King Cyrus of Persia is known, even in secular history, for being an incredibly tolerant leader who allowed those under him to practice their religious beliefs. God used Cyrus to set the Israelites free, so why can’t God use Sol Price to create the modern luxury of wholesale grocery stores?
Thousands of years ago, God was stirring people’s hearts and that is no different now. Think of all the wonderful resources we have, things that you may use every day, and take a few moments to thank God.
Pace is the assistant feature editor for the Liberty Champion