Reflection: “Daily Bread”

“Give us this day our daily bread” is the 4th petition in the “Lord’s Prayer”. The word translated into “daily” is very rare (used only here by Matthew), and hence there is much argument over what it actually means.

Personally I see no reason to interpret it any other way from the translation to which many people have become accustomed, namely, “daily.” The meaning then would be, “Give us today the portion that is needed for any one day.”

Taken this way, it means that Jesus is teaching us to be moderate in our desires and requests; we must ask for bread, not luxuries, and we must learn to trust and depend on God for His sure provisions.

I find the same teaching in our responsive reading today (Joshua 5:9-12). When Joshua and the people reached the “plains of Jericho” and were able to get food from the “produce of the land”, we read in v.12, “the manna ceased” that day. The manna was not an ordinary produce of nature, but an extraordinary and special gift of God to supply the people’s needs. God is not wasteful with His grace to work extraordinary miracles when ordinary means were sufficient.

This is a comforting Christian privilege: to be able to trust, depend and cast all our physical and spiritual needs upon our heavenly Father.

- Rev. Robert Chew