Give us day by day our daily bread.
We are to regard this petition as a request for the supply of bodily needs, but we are not to stop there. It includes a prayer for the instruction of God's Word, which is often compared to food (Job 23:12; Amos 8:11; 1 Timothy 4:6); and for the assistance and support of His grace, for strength to do His will, for that Bread which endureth unto everlasting life, which is contrasted by our Lord with the perishing support of the perishing life of earth.
I. IT IS A PRAYER OF FAITH.
1. A cry of nature (Psalm 104:21, 28).
2. By it man acknowledges his Benefactor.
(1) While we recognize God as the Giver of all good things, and seek to Him for their supply, we must not ignore the means and channels which He has appointed for their conveyance to us.
(2) Nor, again, while we ask God, our heavenly Father, to give us those things that He sees to be needful for us, must we dare to snatch in unlawful or forbidden ways what He does not offer, however imperious may seem to us the need (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).
II. THE LESSON OF TRUST AND RESIGNATION follows naturally in thought from the spirit of faith which this prayer inculcates. First, "Thy will be done"; then, if it be in accordance with Thy will, "give us" what to us seems needful.
III. CONTENTMENT WITH OUR LOT will naturally flow from this believing regard of God as the Giver of all good, and from resignation to His wise and loving will.
1. We ask for "bread," necessaries, not luxuries.
2. We ask not that our storehouses may be replenished and goods laid up for many years, but for the supply of the need of the coming day (Proverbs 30:8, 9; 1 Timothy 6:8; Matthew 6:34).
IV. OUR MUTUAL DEPENDENCE ONE UPON ANOTHER, as well as our COMMON DEPENDENCE UPON GOD. Meum and tuum do not belong to the Christian vocabulary; -Pater noster is the Christian prayer and rule. We are stewards of God's bounty, which we must use for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 6:2; 1 Timothy 6:17, 18; 1 Peter 4:10). This rule applies not only to gifts of money, but also to the expenditure of time, of ability, and talent of any kind.
(A. C. A. Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.