Fifty.

I love when God shows me something incredibly random.
Its like light bulbs going off in my head, dots connecting, or whatever epiphany analogy you like best.
I had one of those moments today.

Lets back up to last night.

I was driving home from work when I received a call from an unknown Geraldine number.
I answered, as I usually do.
It was a gentleman from Bethel Baptist Church, where an old teacher of mine is pastor.
They had a brotherhood breakfast scheduled for this morning, but the speaker had to cancel due to a family emergency.
I got the last minute call inviting me to come share instead.

Now, whenever there is short notice for me to speak, I usually use the same speech:
My testimony.
The stand by.
Old rough and ready.

But this morning, I felt I should share something else.
So I read from Luke 9 where Jesus feeds the 5000 with five loaves and two fish.
I have a really awesome story that goes along with this scripture.
About how we were building a cabin in Canada, but were short on shingles.
If you want to know the story, ask.
Its a good one.

Anyway…
I picked up on a detail in the passage that I’ve never really noticed before.
Jesus had the disciples separate the crowd into groups of fifty.
And I became curious… why fifty?

Later this morning, Brother Jeff preached out of the book of 1 Kings.
And as he was reading, the answer to my earlier inquiry revealed itself.

===
Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord.
While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. – 1 Kings 18:3b-4
===

During a trying time, a time when many prophets were killed, and others immediately threatened by impending deaths, God used Obadiah to care for the remnant.
To take care of their needs.
To feed them.
To give them water.
To provide them with safe dwelling.

We read in Luke 9 that they are in a remote place.
Jesus had been catering to the spiritual needs of those that followed by teaching of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus had been healing all those that were in need of healing.
And then, as it starts to get late, and people get hungry, Jesus instructs his disciples to separate them, and to feed them.
In groups of fifty.

Now, I’ve mentioned many times before the importance of education in first century Jewish culture.
The importance of the scriptures were even more so.
These people Jesus fed, and his disciples especially, would have known of Obadiah’s deeds.
They would have recognized the connection immediately.

That just as God met the needs of the old testament prophets in desperate and dangerous times, that God was meeting the needs of everyone in the present day.

And God is still meeting our needs today.
In unimaginable ways.

So have a seat with 49 of your closest friends.
Enjoy a fish sandwich.
And praise God for his awesome power.

Peace and love.

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2 thoughts on “Fifty.

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