In the spring of AD 70, the Romans advanced upon Jerusalem and placed the city under siege. Knowing that the pilgrims would drain the city’s food and water supplies, the Romans allowed them to enter Jerusalem for Passover — and then didn’t let them leave. Days and weeks stretched into months, and Jerusalem began to starve. Before the siege was lifted, the Jews of Jerusalem even attempted to eat their leather belts and shoes.
By God’s grace, few of us will ever be as desperately hungry or fearful as these trapped Jews were. After all, God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He wants us to live peacefully in the freedom that comes from trusting Him to provide for us. The Bible is rich with God’s promises that He will meet our needs, and one of my favorites is tucked into the words of the Lord’s Prayer:
Give us this day our daily bread. — Matthew 6:11
Have you ever noticed the repetition of day and daily in that sentence? New Testament scholar Kenneth Bailey explains that the words are repeated because of the difficult-to-translate Greek word epiousios. As a matter of fact, there is no record of this word being used anywhere else in Greek literature. Biblical scholars have translated the word in a handful of ways over the years, but the oldest commentary we have on the subject — and the one most closely related to Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke — is the Old Syriac. That translation is: “Give us today the bread that doesn’t runout.”1
- Clearly, Jesus doesn’t want us to be anxious about whether we will have what we need in order to live. He encourages us to simply ask God to meet those needs, to ask Him for bread that keeps coming.
What need is weighing on you today? God doesn’t want you lying awake at night in worry or fear. He invites you to come to Him and, with trusting, childlike faith, ask Him to provide for you.
Thank You, Father, that Your provision for me will never run out.
Five Minutes in the Word
Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? — Matthew 6:25–26
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and His children become a blessing. — Psalm 37:25–26
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. — Psalm 139:23 NIV
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.
— Psalm 127:2 NLT
1.Kenneth Bailey, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2008), 121.
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Peace for Today, by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.
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What is weighing on you today? What are you spinning on worrying that God will not handle for you? He is in control! Give Him your anxious thoughts. Tell Him everything and ask Him to give you rest. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you. ~ Devotionals Daily