The God Who Satisfies

A Soul-Full Christmas

 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:53

Mary’s prayer in Luke 1 soars to heaven at times, as if she stands at the pearly gates, viewing the vastness of God’s eternal plan of redemption—from His mercy that extends to all generations to the mighty deeds He has done through the ages.

But Mary’s thoughts return to earth in verses 52-53, for she is probably thinking of weary pilgrims, stumbling along a treacherous road. God’s mercy and mighty deeds are with those travelers—lifting the humble when they fall and feeding the hungry when they cry out.

Many Bible scholars believe that Psalm 107, which Mary quotes in Luke 1:53, was sung by the exiles as they returned to Israel from Babylon. Although the psalmist mentions many trials—imprisonment, oppression, sickness, and storms at sea—Mary only quotes a portion of verse 9: “for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Unfortunately, hunger is a chronic problem in the world: over 800 million people do not have enough to eat.[1] An estimated 108,000 people in Western North Carolina, where I live, struggle with hunger.[2] Between 70-90 people come each day to the soup kitchen where I volunteer. Yet many of these folks speak of God’s goodness as they walk through the serving line. Filled with gratitude for a hot meal and a warm place to eat it, they sing “because He lives I can face tomorrow” with joy during the daily devotional time. Like the psalmist, they “give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds” (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31).

God is an attentive parent. He fills the hungry with good things—sometimes with turkey and all the trimmings, but always with love, joy, and peace as we walk through His serving line. He provides the soul-fillers that no amount of money can buy.

Are you hungry this Christmas? Your hunger may have nothing to do with an empty refrigerator. But whether it’s your stomach or your soul that is searching for satisfaction, only God can provide what you need. Ask Him to fill you with His good things. And then, like the psalmist, Mary, and the hungry folks at the soup kitchen, you will “tell of his works with songs of joy” (Psalm 107:22).

DIG DEEPER:

Read Psalm 107. Look for other connections between Mary’s prayer in Luke 1:46-55 and Psalm 107, particularly verses 33-43.  Are you wise enough to “heed these things” and consider the great love of the LORD”? (Psalm 107:43)

Read Isaiah 33:15-16. What acts of obedience does Isaiah say are connected to the person whose “bread will be supplied”?

Read Isaiah 49:1-13. Isaiah mentions a Servant (v.3) who will feed the hungry (v. 10). How did Jesus fulfill that prophecy both physically and spiritually? Read John 6:1-15, 30-35.

Denise K. Loock

Note: This devotion is part of The Magnificat Series.

[1] http://www.stophungernow.org/hunger-facts. Access date: 12.11.14

[2] http://www.mannafoodbank.org/hunger-101/ending-hunger-in-wnc/ Access date 12.11.14

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