Do David’s observation at Psalm 37:25 and Jesus’ statement at Matthew 6:33 mean that Jehovah would never allow a Christian to lack sufficient food?
David wrote that he had “not seen anyone righteous abandoned, nor his children looking for bread.” He thus made a general statement based on his own experience. He well knew God’s consistent care. (Ps. 37:25) David’s words, however, do not mean that no worshipper ever suffered want or ever will.
There were times when David himself experienced trying circumstances. One such time was when he was fleeing from Saul. David’s provisions were low, and he asked for bread for himself and those who were with him. (1 Sam. 21:1-6) So in that instance, David was “looking for bread.” Yet, in that critical situation, he knew that Jehovah had not forsaken him. The fact is, we nowhere read that David had to beg in order to obtain the food he needed to survive.
At Matthew 6:33, we find Jesus’ assurance that God will fill the needs of faithful servants who put Kingdom interests first in life. “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness,” Jesus said, “and all these other things [including food, drink, and clothing] will be added to you.” However, Jesus also indicated that because of persecution, his “brothers” might experience hunger. (Matt. 25:35, 37, 40) That happened to the apostle Paul. He at times experienced hunger and thirst.
Jehovah tells us that we will be persecuted in various ways. He may allow us to undergo deprivation as we help to answer the charges brought by the Devil. (Job 2:3-5) For example, some of our fellow Christians, such as those who were put in Nazi concentration camps, have found themselves in peril because of persecution. Depriving the Witnesses of adequate food was one diabolical method used in an effort to break their integrity. Faithful Witnesses remained obedient to Jehovah; he did not forsake them. He allowed them to undergo this trial, just as he permits all Christians to face trials of various sorts. However, there is no doubt that Jehovah supports all who suffer for his name’s sake. (1 Cor. 10:13) We can bear in mind the words of Philippians 1:29: “You have been given the privilege in behalf of Christ, not only to put your faith in him but also to suffer in his behalf.”
Jehovah promises to be with his servants. Isaiah 54:17, for example, states: “No weapon formed against you will have any success.” This and similar promises guarantee the safety of God’s people as a whole. Individually, though, a Christian may undergo tests, even to the point of death.