Summary: Bread, both physical and spiritual, is necessary for life. Jesus is the eternal bread represented in manna. Our faith gives us access to eternal life through him.
1. G. Mueller and Prayer
Things looked bleak for the children in George Mueller’s orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do."
In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but also there was no money in the home’s account. The children were all standing around waiting for their breakfasts, and Mr. Muller said to them, "Children, you know we must be in time for school." He then lifted his head and prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat."
Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Muller, I could not sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn’t have any bread for breakfast, and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2:00am and baked some fresh bread and here it is." Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God.
Moments later there was a second knock at the door. It was the local milkman whose milk wagon had just broken down in front of Muller’s orphanage. He offered all his milk to Muller and the orphans so he could have his wagon hauled to the nearest repair shop. [Colin Whittaker, Seven Guides to Effective Prayer, S.v. "George Muller" (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1987), p33.]
2. Americans take food for granted
a. OKC – Sample center for restaurants – so much eating out (sign of prosperity)
b. [Tom Holland quelling criticisms of cafeteria food asked, “How many of you have been really hungry?” One student responded that his family had been so poor that many meals they onle had a “tater” to eat.
3. Yeshua (Jesus) reminds us of “daily provisions” – Matthew 6.11
a. First half of the prayer focuses on GOD (important to honor him in prayer, not just ask)
b. Second half focuses on US (not even just “ME”)
1) Provision in the Present – Daily Bread
2) Pardon of the Past – Forgive
3) Protection in the future -- Temptation
4. Consider God’s Promised Provisions:
I. God’s Promised Provisions for the Hebrews
A. Based on the Covenant with Abraham – Genesis 12 and 15
1. To be Father of a Great nation God would have to provide
2. God acted often for the sake of Abraham
B. 430 Years in Egypt – provisions but not always pleasant
1. Joseph – experienced the providential provisions – Genesis 50.20
As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
2. Hebrew Captives
a. No immediate release, but provisions
b. God is interested in his will more than our convenience – it took the 430 years before the Canaanites had exhausted God’s offers of repentance
C. Hebrew Freed Men – in the wilderness – Exodus 16.4-8
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your murmurings against the LORD. For what are we, that you murmur against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the LORD gives you in the evening flesh to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your murmurings which you murmur against him—what are we? Your murmurings are not against us but against the LORD.”
1. People’s Perspective – Wanderings
2. God’s perspective – Leading with pillars of cloud and fire (legs of God)
3. Manna (and quail) – daily provisions
a.) 2 quarts of Manna/day x 3 Million = 6 million quarts/day; = 2.2 Billion quarts/year; More than 80 Billion quarts for the journey
b.) 1 square foot/Quart = 266 football fields/day
‘If God intended man to live on bread, why didn’t he create a bread tree?’ And the answer, in effect, is that God could have created a tree that produced crusty loaves of bread, but he prefers to offer us a grain and invite us to buy a field and plant the seed. He prefers that we till the soil while he sends the rain. He prefers that we harvest the crop while he sends sunshine. He prefers that we grind the crop and knead it and bake it while he gives us air in our lungs and strength in our arms. Why? Because he would rather that we become partners with him in creation.