Enough for Today
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).
Bread from Heaven
1They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to 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 they will walk in my law or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11And the Lord said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?”1 For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer,2 according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
22On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” 24So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”
27On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30So the people rested on the seventh day.
31Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘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, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36(An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)3
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