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Answers from the Word

Edwin Woolsey

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Amos 8:11 The time is surely coming, says the Sovereign LORD, when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD.

A friend mentioned this week that they have read the Bible completely through from front to back. They especially enjoy the Revelation but do not always understand everything they find in God's Word. For that reason, they appreciate the weekly articles in the local paper "Moment in the Word" and "Answers from the Word."

I responded to my friend's comment, "Don't worry about understanding the entire Bible all at one time." Instead, just remember Jesus' prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread."

By His request, Christ referred to something more than merely natural food because He told his disciples in another place, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” John 4:32 Here, He spoke of spiritual food which was God's Word.

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus was also talking about spiritual bread from God's Word. Interestingly, by qualifying the amount of bread as being "daily," He referenced the Old Testament manna... the Bread of Heaven that came down in the wilderness each morning to keep God's wandering people alive. But, at the same time, they were commanded to gather only what they needed for that day alone and no more. If Israel became greedy and hoarded more than they could use in one day's time, then the miraculous bread immediately spoiled and was filled with worms.

By gathering enough manna for only one day, the people were forced to rely on God for their food today, tomorrow, and each day thereafter.

In the same way, Jesus spoke of Himself and said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven.” John 6:41 In another place we learn that Jesus (the Bread from Heaven) is also God's Living Word, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos - Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." John 1:1-4 And just like the manna that constantly came down each and every morning to feed the people's need, Jesus (the Bread of Heaven & the Word of God) said, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!" Revelation 1:18

And that's why Jesus said, "Give us this day our daily bread (show me in your Word what I need to know today)." Oddly enough, the word "manna" literally means "what is it?" God sends His people enough of His Word for one day at a time, and we are left to discover what His Word means to us for that new day!

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