Happy Sabbath and Lord's Day (or weekend, if you prefer) to everyone. We have started Spring Break here in Burnsville. And Ohio State and Wisconsin both got knocked out of March Madness, leaving us with no Big-10 teams in college basketball's final tournament. But all is good in our home this day – everyone is healthy, bills are paid, relationships are good, and if it weren't for my oldest two daughters learning to drive (Asia is set to take her driver's license test, and Maggie her permit test), I would be at real peace with the world. Which brings me to today's topic the Lord's Prayer.
This isn't such a big jump in topic as you may think. I like to regularly pray the Lord's Prayer, after I read in the early Christian writing called the Didache (written around 150 AD) that we should pray the Lord's prayer three times a day (Didache 8:3). In today's post I wanted to talk about the Fourth Petition in the Lord's Prayer that we be given this day our "daily bread". In our men's group we discussed Martin Luther's description of what is meant by "daily bread", and here is what Luther wrote:
Fourth Petition – Luther's Small Catechism - Give us today our daily bread.
What does this mean?
God surely gives daily bread without our asking, even to all the wicked, but we pray in this petition that he would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
What, then, is meant by daily bread?
Daily bread includes everything that we need for our bodily welfare, such as food and drink, clothing and shoes, house and home, land and cattle, money and goods, a godly spouse, godly children, godly workers, godly and faithful leaders, good government, good weather, peace and order, health, a good name, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
Martin Luther makes the claim that "daily bread" covers not only our food, clothing and home, but also the weather (?), health, peace and order, good government, good friends, etc. So I wanted to see why Martin Luther makes such a broad description of what is meant in the Fourth Petition in the Lord's Prayer for our "daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). Here is what I found (all verses are from the ESV):
Psalm 132:15 (for Zion) I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.
All Food - Genesis 3:19 (ESV) 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
And meat, and all that they craved; - Numbers 11:18-19 (ESV) 18 And say to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, "Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt." Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days; and, Psalm 78:27-29 (ESV) 27 he rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas; 28 he let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their dwellings. 29 And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
Who provides food for all living creatures? Job 38:41 (ESV) 41 Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?
(Do not worry) Matthew 6:25-27
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Clothing: Genesis 28:20-21 (ESV) 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God,
Deuteronomy 8:3-4 (ESV)
3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
God provides whatever there is a desire for - Psalm 145:15-16 (ESV) 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (this looks to include food, shelter, job, love, companionship, friendship, etc.)
For he who walks in righteousness, a promise of defense, food and water, and peace - Isaiah 33:15-16 (ESV) 15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, 16 he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. (See, Isaiah 32:15, 17-18);
Food for our children:
I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
OK, and here is where it gets really good. Check out these promises:
(All sufficiency in everything so that we may do good deeds) 2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything; you may have an abundance for every good deed;
(All needs) Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want… (also peace, see Psalm 23:2-3).
(Relation with God/A.S.K.) - Matthew 7:7-11 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
(Our prayers are heard and answered) 1 John 5:14-15 - And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
(Seek His Kingdom) Luke 12:30-31 (ESV)
30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
(God's Grace gives all things – which means we don't deserve it) Romans 8:32 (ESV)
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
(All sufficiency is given so that we may be generous) 2 Corinthians 9:8-11
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
And now three verses to take away with you this week – Proverbs 30:8-9 (ESV) 8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 – all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
CONCLUSION: Yes, Martin Luther correctly described the portion of the Lord's Prayer asking for our "daily bread" as very broad. It includes for believers not only food, clothing and shelter, but our protection, blessing on our children, everything we need, including relationship with the Creator of the Universe. And God provides for our needs so that we can be generous with those in need around us. The Lord's Prayer is an amazing prayer, so let's get out there and pray the Lord's Prayer and place our trust that what we pray for will be given. Amen, /s/Tom Wolff