Give us each day our daily bread. Luke 11:3
If bread has represented anything throughout history, it’s daily sustenance. Other foods are certainly pleasant additions to our existence, but when we think of bread, most of us think of one of life’s most basic needs being fulfilled.
This kind of thinking is consistent with God’s unique provision for His people. In the Old Testament, the Israelites’ experience of wandering in the wilderness required their total dependence on God to meet their daily needs. One of the most tangible ways they learned this lesson was through God’s provision of manna from heaven.
God made it clear to His people that, each day, He would supply enough manna for one day and one day only. They were not to leave any of it over until the morning (Exodus 16:19). His purpose in supplying one day’s worth of bread at a time was to teach His people to trust His provision. Sadly, some Israelites doubted that He would do what He had promised and disobeyed Him, keeping some manna for the next day (for doubting God’s promises always leads to disobeying God’s commands). They awoke in the morning to be confronted by a stinking, worm-infested mass of leftover manna (v 20). God was teaching them to rely on Him to provide for them. It was a lesson that they would take a long time to learn.
When we take this Old Testament example and consider the words “Give us each day our daily bread,” we realize that, in this line of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is underscoring a timeless reality: in every age, God teaches His people to trust not in the provision itself, which leaves us longing for more, but in the Provider, who satisfies our every need.
God desires for us to wake up and discover afresh His daily provision. This is why He instructed the Israelites to keep a small measure of manna for posterity, saying, “Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness” (Exodus 16:32). In following this instruction, one generation could speak to the next concerning the reality and wonder of His ongoing, daily provision.
The Father, whom we come to know through Jesus, cares about our personal, practical, and material needs. Perhaps you awoke this morning beleaguered by and feeling anxious about ongoing problems or upcoming events in your life. Remember this: you are God’s personal concern, and you may approach Him in confidence, asking Him to give you all that is necessary for today. And then you can trust Him to give you exactly what you need today, and then tomorrow, and ever onwards. You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you and provides for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.