Read: Exodus 15:19-17:7, Matthew 22:1-33, Psalm 27:1-6, Proverbs 6:20-26
But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.
Relate: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…
How many of you are right now mentally finishing this prayer? I’m not normally a KJV type of guy. I prefer more accuracy in my translations. But even still, almost every time I am praying this prayer with a group in public, we are doing it in the King James. How does this line go: “Give us this day…”
Believe it or not, there’s actually a little bit of a controversy regarding this line. Most scholars today would say that “give us today our bread for today” would be the best way to translate this. But it can also be understood as “give us today our bread for tomorrow.” Although this doesn’t seem the best way to translate the original Greek, it is the way many of the earliest manuscript translations (Syriac, Aramian, Coptic, Georgian, Gothic, etc) translated it. So some scholars argue that those who spoke and knew Greek at that time felt that this would be better. At least, this is what the scholars who hold to the minority opinion argue. The King James, and most other modern translations, avoid the debate by simply calling it “daily bread” sometimes with a footnote offering one or both alternates. This gets the point across without quibbling about whether it is today’s daily bread or tomorrow’s. Either way, the point is the same. “Give us what we need one day at a time.”
React: For me, this prayer is just as much a reminder as it is a request. Maybe you have more faith than I do. Maybe you don’t have the same problem. But I just have a really hard time not looking beyond just today and tomorrow and wondering how I will be able to have my “daily bread” needs met weeks and months in advance. You are probably a lot better at this than me, but I tend to worry. Especially since coronavirus took my job away from me and I was forced, with no work visa, to leave my adopted country, and now I am trying to look and plan for what comes next… I tend to worry.
I think I would have been one of the ones who had a little trouble with the manna gathering. Most of the people of Israel did quite well at gathering up each day just what they needed for that day. But some of the Israelites tried to gather up extra. I don’t blame them. This is the first time ever that they opened up their tents and found this… food… (manna literally means, “what is it?”) on the ground. It has never happened before. Who is to say that it will ever happen again. It is only “good stewardship” to gather what we can while we can… right? A Royal Ranger is prepared. Some others didn’t gather too much. Instead, for the same reasons, they ate too little. This is good stuff, we want it to last. Wisdom tells us it is better to tighten the belts a little bit today so that we won’t be starving to death tomorrow… right? Honestly, I am surprised that there were only a few people in each camp. If it were modern Americans (or Brits, or Europeans, or.. insert your nationality here), I am almost positive nearly everyone would have done it wrong. I probably would have. I know this because when I take an honest look at my own life, and habits, and worries, I am getting it wrong all the time. I am not living up to what
Give us this day our bread for… erm… daily. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t sound wise. But faith isn’t supposed to. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be faith. In what ways today are we still trying to gather up too much manna? In what ways are we not enjoying God’s daily blessings because we are trying to stretch them into tomorrow? God, give us all more faith… just enough to get us through our day.
Our Father who is in heaven,
Let Your Name be made holy.
Let Your Kingdom come.
Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our bread for today.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation.
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
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One thought on “For Today”
I really get a lot out of your devotional. I am so sorry to hear how your life has been changed by COVID-19. I worry too, and I do think that the metaphor of the manna is helpful.
It is hard to face life’s uncertainties. I find myself singing a lot, trying to keep my eyes on Jesus