Give us day by day our daily bread.
Although He is the great Giver of all temporal blessings, yet if it be by wisely appointed means and instruments that He gives, the application of these means and instruments is indispensable to the gift. It is so for every gift which God bestows. Men, in the common affairs of human life, never think of acting upon any other principle.
1. In the first place, there is nothing in man's dependence that dispenses with his own industry. The moral virtue of men depends, in no small degree, upon their industry and enterprise.
2. Another of the means, without which we may look in vain for temporal good to God as the Giver, is economy. He who wastes what God gives him, may not complain if He ceases to give. Nature and Providence are constantly reading us this lesson. One law is made to subserve a thousand purposes, and acts everywhere. Nothing is thrown away; nothing lost; nothing but accomplishes its appropriate end. If, then, such is the wise economy in the kingdom of nature; if the most worthless mineral, or the meanest vegetable, when decomposed, is resolved into elements which immediately enter into new combinations, and in other forms assist in carrying on the designs of Providence, surely nothing was given to men to destroy.
3. Nor do we hesitate, in the next place, to specify among the means of temporal prosperity, a sacred regard to the Lord's Day.
4. Another of the means of worldly good is a sacred regard to truth. Truth between man and man is the only solid basis of human intercourse. Without it there can be no confidence in the transactions of business; no order, no happiness in human society.
5. Another means of temporal prosperity is that genuine rectitude and integrity of character which secure honesty in our dealings with one another.
6. One more thought deserves consideration, as connected by the Divine appointment with temporal prosperity — it is a filial, respectful, and dutiful deportment towards parents. "Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Such are the ordinary means of procuring temporal blessings. Where these are faithfully adopted and pursued, men may consistently pray, "Give us this day our daily bread!"
(G. Spring, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.