“Give us this day our daily bread . . .” (Matt. 6:11). I am not independent or self-sufficient, but dependent on the goodness of God for my needs.
It was a very important, street-level warning, and it was given at just the right time:
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.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. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today. (Deut. 8:2–11)
The children of Israel were entering the Promised Land, where abundant resources would be available to them and they would face the temptation of affluence. What is that? It is the temptation we all face, when things are going well and supplies are many, to forget our utter dependence on the power, goodness, and faithfulness of God for everything in life. The prayer for daily bread reminds me that I am dependent on God for even the most mundane needs of my life. Only he has the power to control all the conditions, situations, locations, events, and people that need to be controlled in order for me to have the things that I need to have in order to live my life.
Independency is a delusion. Even the most ardent atheist is dependent on God for his life and breath. No one is able to get what he needs for his physical existence on his own. No one lives a self-sufficient life. No one can say, “Look how successfully I have been able to care for me without any outside assistance.” No one! It really is true that “Every good and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). So look up and give thanks. There really is a great and loving Supplier.
For further study and encouragement: 1 Kings 17
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.