Read: Proverbs 30:8-9
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the LORD ?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Independence! Freedom! Autonomy! Those are values cherished by human beings everywhere—and they are especially cherished here in America. That’s why our most treasured national document is the Declaration of Independence. We love our freedom—especially when it comes to money. Who doesn’t want to be independently wealthy!
Yet there is something greater than our independence—financial and otherwise—and that is our utter dependence on God. When we live in the daily awareness of our utter need for God, we are dependently wealthy—and there’s no better way to live. That’s not only the message of this proverb, but it was a vital life-principle taught by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, when very simply, he told us to pray,
“Give us today our daily bread.”
Did you notice two times in just six words Jesus refers to “daily”? Apparently that was pretty significant to Jesus. Why daily?
It’s the only time in the New Testament that this particular Greek word was used. In fact, this word baffled scholars for years because they couldn’t find a record of it in ancient Greek literature—sacred or secular. But between 1947-56 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and this word, “daily” was found in both business and religious documents. It referred to a daily shopping list of perishable items good only for that day.
That brings up an important point to what Jesus was saying: Even though God is our provider, his promise to provide is provisional. In other words, this prayer is no blank check. Jesus deliberately chose the word “daily” not because God likes to hear us beg, but to teach us the importance of expressing a day-by-day dependence on God.
Now that’s hard to relate to since for most of us, we’ve not only got today’s food, we’ve got tomorrow’s food and next week’s food in our freezer. And when we run out, we’ve got Costco! Costco isn’t like a grocery store; it’s the size of an international airport. Employees there don’t use box cutters; they drive forklifts. Your shopping cart is the size of a Volkswagen. You don’t get individual items, you pick up pallets of food. When you check out, it’s akin to making a car payment. Then you haul it home and you’ve got to figure out where to put all that stuff.
In twenty-first century America, daily bread isn’t much of a felt need. Even still, our daily bread comes from God and it can be taken away in a heartbeat, so we should never take God’s provision for granted.
But even if daily bread is not our need, I suspect there are probably other more pressing needs awaiting us this day: A difficult marriage, sour finances, a crummy job, an impure addiction, a life-and-death battle with cancer, or some other overwhelming challenge. The thing is, whatever the need, God is waiting to meet it. So the question is, will you come to him today in surrender and trust for his provision?
Remember in the Old Testament when God provided manna for the Israelites to eat—but only a day at a time. They could only collect enough manna for that day—they couldn’t store it for tomorrow. Why did God do it that way? So that every 24 hours they’d have to trust God to meet their need. That’s where the verse came from,
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:33)
What does that mean? God has made it so that we must come back to him daily, because he’s the source of all we need. That’s why both Jesus and the writer of this proverb taught us to ask God for daily bread: To keep us ever mindful that the Father himself is the source of our life.
What is your manna? What drives you every 24 hours to say, “God, you are my source, and I’m going to trust you for this. Today, I declare my dependence on you.” When you learn to lean into that truth each and every day, you will find that God is the one and only never failing provision for all you need.
And when you realize that, you have become dependently wealthy—and there’s no better way to live!
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
First, look up and memorize Philippians 4:19. And second, take five minutes to write out your own Declaration of Daily Dependence.