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Our Daily Bread
‘Our God Gives!’
MT 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.
Dr Alex Tang
Our God gives for all our needs, enough for today and with assurance of the same for tomorrow.
MT 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray:
In teaching us about the Lord’s prayer, Jesus is actually teaching us about the kingdom of God.
The ‘how’ shows that the kingdom of God is practical. It involves our bodies, spirits and souls. It is not an otherworldy ‘pie in the sky’ concept. It is here and it is now. But it also have a dimension that is in the future when our bodies and souls receive our new “resurrection bodies”.
‘Give us today our daily bread’ shows the physical aspects of kingdom of God living in the world today. It involves our mental perspectives (give us today) and our physical needs (our daily bread). This sermon will focus upon the physical aspects of kingdom living.
The Significance of Our Daily Bread
Why does Jesus asks his disciples to pray for bread? Martin Luther notes that bread is not just food but symbolic of all of our physical needs. He said, “everything necessary for the preservation of this life is bread, including food, a healthy body, good weather, house, home, wife, children, good government, and peace”.
Note also the payer is not for bread alone but for daily bread. Why daily bread?
Reference to manna
Jesus is a First Century Jew and is familiar with the exodus story. I believe he deliberately uses ‘our daily bread’ in this prayer to establish a link in his listeners with the bread provided in the exodus story. Let us revisit the exodus story.
The Exodus tour
Manna (Exo. 16: 8-33)
8 Moses also said, "You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD."
EX 16:9 Then Moses told Aaron, "Say to the entire Israelite community, `Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.' "
EX 16:10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.
EX 16:11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, `At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "
EX 16:13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: `Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.' "
EX 16:17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.
EX 16:19 Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."
EX 16:20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
EX 16:21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much--two omers for each person--and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, "This is what the LORD commanded: `Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.' "
EX 16:24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 "Eat it today," Moses said, "because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any."
EX 16:27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
EX 16:31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded: `Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.' "
EX 16:33 So Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the LORD to be kept for the generations to come."
EX 16:34 As the LORD commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna in front of the Testimony, that it might be kept. 35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.
Moses called this bread but the people called it manna. Note some special features:
The root issue
Trust in Yahweh who provides for all their needs
No delusions of being in control
Total dependence on God
The Kingdom of God Tour
Can you trust God for your daily needs?
How different are we from the Israelites following Moses in the desert?
Meditate on this (se table above)
Our God gives
Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-9)
After a power encounter with Baal (450 priests versus 1 prophet), Elijah fled into the desert after hearing Jezebel’s threats.
1KI 19:1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."
1KI 19:3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
1KI 19:7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
A young Moabite widow decided to follow her widowed mother-in-law, Noami back to Israel. Imagine how dangerous it will be for two women without the protection of the men folks. How will they make a living? Often women in that period are forced into begging or prostitution to survive.
They chose begging. Somehow Ruth managed to be in the right place at the right time. She was picking up grains of wheat left behind in the field by the harvesters. That field just happen to belong to Boaz who just happen to be a close relative, a kinsman redeemers (Ruth 2:20-23).
RU 2:20 "The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."
RU 2:21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, "He even said to me, `Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.' "
RU 2:22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in someone else's field you might be harmed."
RU 2:23 So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
John Grentz, one of the leaders of the Reformation
Spanish Emperor Charles V was hunting the leaders of the Reformation and putting them on trial for heresy. John Grentz was a friend of the Reformation and a friend of martin Luther. One day he was trapped in a town when the Spanish cavalry arrived suddenly. God led him to the northern part of town and throw an open door. Grentz did that and hid in the loft. All Glentz had with him was a single loaf of bread. The Spanish cavalry soldiers were in the town for fourteen days searching for him. There were a few moments that they almost pierced him with their lances and they searched. He was trapped and the loaf of bread cannot last for fourteen days. Interestingly a hen turned up daily at where he was hiding and laid an egg which he ate. On the fifteenth day, the en did not turn up. In desperation John came down from the loft to find that the soldiers have left that very day. Divine providence?
Do you trust God for your daily needs?
The first part of Matt. 6:11 states that we are to live in the present rather than in the past or future. Living in the presence means living one day at a time. While asking God to help us to live one day at a time, we are also to be trust and totally dependent on God who will provides for all our needs. He is a God who gives.
Jesus reminds us of a God who gives
(Matt. 6:25-27, 31-34)
MT 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Give us today our daily bread (Matthew 6:11)
Sermon 2: Our God gives (our daily bread)
Sermon 3: Shared bread (us)
Soli Deo Gloria
"treat, heal, and comfort always"
"spiritual forming disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"
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