The reading for today is from Exodus 16! " The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin,which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
This story about God's people journeying out of Egypt drives a couple of points home about God's fatherly divine-ness and my childish humanness! God had rescued them from a horrible slavery experience in Egypt and now they are unsure of how they will eat on the long journey to freedom! God knows - they don't! They resort to ridiculous complaining which romanticizes "the good ole days" back in Egypt! It takes no faith to complain! Ouch! I need to hear myself say that again, "It takes no faith to complain!" God wants to mature them (and me) in the life of faith!
So He gives them a promise that will bring great relief to the people if they will believe Him. He says there will be "daily" bread on the ground every morning and they should take enough for that day and trust tomorrow will have bread from Him as well. Later in the story we find out that some people thought it wise to "save extra from today for tomorrow!" Guess what! "20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell."
So Jesus is telling us to pray in the prayer He taught "Give us this day our daily bread!" God wanted the Israelites to have a practical way to trust Him as provider on a daily basis. He gave them a core physical experience in which to live in daily dependence on the God of the heavens for their very lives. He wants that life of daily faith for me too so He is teaching me to pray that way!
This is rather revolutionary for me as a 21st century american who has been encultureated with the values of individualistic independence! It is as if Jesus is speaking to me (us) through the words of His prayer, "trust and depend on your Father in heaven... daily kids daily!" It is not "trust after you have given it your best shot and you are at the end of your rope." "NO" says Jesus, "It's daily kids daily......... for everything!
What challenge and comfort is God bringing to you through these words today?