Give us day by day our daily bread.
Let us enforce the great principles contained in this request.
I. One of these is, THAT FOR SHE SUPPLY OF THEIR TEMPORAL WANTS, MEN ARE DEPENDENT ON GOD. When the Saviour puts the petition into our mouths, "Give us this day our daily bread," He not only teaches the abstract doctrine of our dependence, but that we should be in the habit of acknowledging it. Temporal enjoyments are no more the result of chance and contingency than the beautiful and wondrous world in which we dwell. Natural causes may be the means and instruments of their production, but they are not the authors of them. Nature herself teaches us that our insufficiency is absolute, while God's sufficiency is boundless. How many secondary causes, not one of which is under any human control, must be preserved in successful operation in order to secure his daily subsistence to a single individual of the human family! What a delicate and nice adjustment of all the laws of nature, in order to furnish him food to eat and raiment to put on! What a multitude of bodies in the planetary system must be constantly and wisely directed, in order to shelter him from the summer's heat and the winter's cold! To instructions like these we may also add the lessons of personal experience. You began the world poor; and God has not only taken care of you, but given you unexpected prosperity.
II. Another principle contained in this request is, that WHAT IS THUS SUPPLIED TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN, IS TO THEM A MERE GRATUITY. It is all of His mercy, and not of our own deserving. Gabriel himself cannot say Of the smallest and obscurest gem that adorns his crown that it is of his own procuring. And if man's dependence renders his daily bread God's gift, much more does his sinfulness render it so. As a sinner, he has no right to Divine blessings of any kind. It is not a thought to which the minds of Christian men are strangers, that their daily bread is conveyed to them in channels opened at the Cross.
III. There is also another principle of great practical import contained in this request. It strongly inculcates AN IMPLICIT RELIANCE ON THE DIVINE GOODNESS AND BOUNTY FOR ALL THAT WE NEED. It is a great privilege to trust with undisturbed tranquillity on the bountiful providence of our Father who is in heaven.
IV. There is yet another great principle involved in this request — it is THAT OUR DESIRES FOR TEMPORAL GOOD SHOULD BE MODERATE. "Give us this day our daily bread," This prayer regulates the amount of our wants, and the measure of our desires.
(G. Spring, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.