I love how the Lord works. Since the day He showed me I was to write this series, He knew this petition would come up on Thanksgiving Day. I didn’t because I did not anticipate the couple of “extra” posts He would inspire me to write along the way. Yet, here we are. American Thanksgiving Day and I am writing about daily bread.
I love it.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
When Jesus said, “Pray this way” and spoke the Lord’s Prayer for the first time He was speaking to a group of people who knew about the Exodus from Egypt and the bread/manna that God provided faithfully every day for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. This was physical bread.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.” Exodus 16:4
“He who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered [o]as much as he should eat.” Exodus 16:18
Giving manna to the Children of Israel was an exercise of daily trust. They were told specifically to gather only what they could eat for the day. Any bread not consumed spoiled overnight.
I believe Jesus is speaking spiritually or metaphorically more than He is speaking of provision of food to eat. I would suggest that He is reminding his disciples—then and now—that God can be trusted to provide whatever we need.
As I pondered and studied this verse, I went back to the original Aramaic translation of it and was interested to see that it reads, “Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need.” It doesn’t speak of physical bread at all!
This confirmed my suggestion above. In fact I was then reminded that Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’. John 6:35.
A little history here that connects to the petition “Hallowed be Thy Name.” By using the “I AM’ statement Jesus is referring to Himself as Yahweh or YHWH. (Read the post here). It was Yahweh who provided manna in the wilderness. Jesus is connecting Himself to the God these people knew.
Prior to telling the disciples He was the bread of life, He tells them to not even labor for physical bread.
“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” John 6:27
What does all of this mean for you and me when we pray the Lord’s Prayer?
When we speak the words “give us this day our daily bread” we are asking God, our Provider, to give us whatever we need for today. We set aside anxiety or concern for tomorrow and live in the present assured that if we need wisdom, God will provide, If we need forgiveness, God will provide. If we need food on the table or a roof over our heads, God will provide the way.
More than providing material things, this petition reminds us that God provides all that we need for spiritual health. He provides the wisdom, understanding, and assistance to accomplish whatever He is asking us to do today.
Rely on God daily for what you need for today.
He can be trusted.