Read Proverbs 30
Featured Verse: Proverbs 30:8-9, KJV
“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.”
Who doesn’t want to be independently wealthy? Anything that provides independence, especially here in America, is highly prized. That’s why our most treasured national document is the Declaration of Independence.
Yet there is something greater than our independence, 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 nothing better. That’s what this proverb is saying—a vital Christian life-principle that was repackaged by Jesus in Matthew 6:11 in the profoundest of ways when he taught us in the Lord’s Prayer 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 is saying: That even though God is our provider, his promise to provide is provisional. Meaning, this prayer is not a blank check. Jesus deliberately chose this 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, that daily bread comes from God and it can be taken away in a heartbeat, so we should never take God’s provision for granted. And while daily bread may not be our immediate need, we probably have other more pressing needs today: Perhaps a difficult marriage, or sour finances or a crummy job, or an impure addiction or a life-and-death battle with cancer. With each of theses needs, the question is, will I trust God today? Will I lean into him to meet my need today? Our need for God’s provision today is still just as great as the need for daily bread in first century Palestine.
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 twenty-four hours they would have to trust God to meet their need. That is 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 is the source of all we need. That’s why this proverb, as well as Jesus, himself, taught us to ask God for daily bread: To keep us ever mindful that our Father, alone, is the source of our life.
What is your manna? What drives you every twenty-four 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 every day, you have become dependently wealthy—and there’s no better way to live!
“He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.” ~C.S. Lewis
Winning At Life:
First, look up and memorize Philippians 4:19. Second, take five minutes to write out your own Declaration of Daily Dependence.