“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NASB).
Jesus often alluded to passages from the Old Testament in His teachings. When He taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This image would have drawn to the minds of His disciples the story of the manna in the wilderness.
God provided manna in the wilderness to feed the children of Israel after they left Egypt (Exodus 16:11-36). They were permitted to gather only enough for that day. They could not gather more than a day’s sufficiency—except on the sixth day. On that day, they gathered a double portion to keep them for the Sabbath.
Prior to Israel’s entry into the promised land, Moses reminded them how God kept them in the wilderness: “He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3 HCSB).
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to ask only for their “daily bread.” Just like those wandering in the wilderness, He expected His disciples to understand their need and reliance upon God for His provision.
The emphasis on looking to God for the sufficiency of the day also reminds us of Jesus’ instruction to His followers to not worry about what they will eat or wear because God knows what they need (see Matthew 6:25-34).
That sounds great, right? Don’t worry. Trust God.
Have you ever wondered whether the Israelites in the wilderness ever went to sleep at night worrying that the manna wouldn’t be there when they woke up?
Spiritual slogans often wither in the heat of life’s cruel realities. That’s why our faith cannot rest upon motivational words, but on a genuine encounter with the living God, who provides our daily bread. He is trustworthy, even when our momentary circumstances seem to scream otherwise.
He does provide our daily bread. And we must look to Him and trust Him. He, however, doesn’t give us what we need tomorrow, today. We have to trust that today’s sufficiency is enough for today, and tomorrow’s will be there tomorrow.
Jesus called upon His disciples to trust God, even in the midst of hardship, trials, and difficulties—to not let the cares of life choke our trust in God. Do we have faith enough to see God so intimately involved in our daily lives providing our daily bread?
Father, give us this day our daily bread. Amen.