#583 – God Our Sustenance (Exodus 16:15) - Radical

#583 – God Our Sustenance (Exodus 16:15)

“When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ They did not know what it was, and Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.'”
(Exodus 16:15)

This verse summarizes what happened when God provided food for his people when they were hungry in the wilderness, how he sent bread from heaven in a way that shocked and surprised them. In this, we see so many things but one of the things we see is the daily provision of God for his people, that God sees himself as the sustainer of his people on a daily basis, in a way that really supersedes even natural processes and natural things in this world, meaning, well, what God later said about this circumstance he said part of what he was doing was teaching people that don’t live on bread alone but on every word that comes from his mouth, meaning there’s a sustenance that comes from God that is greater than even the bread we eat in this world, and even that is a gift from God. That’s the message here in this verse, this is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.

God is our provider and our ultimate source of sustenance.

We see all throughout the Bible that God is our sustainer, every good gift we have comes from him. This is why it makes total sense before we eat a meal to bow our heads, not just in a sense of rote religious routine, but in a heart that it is grateful, that realizes there is no way I would have this bread right now unless God provided it. So I am gonna pause and just thank God for it and at the same time, I am gonna be reminded that my ultimate sustenance doesn’t come from breakfast, lunch or dinner. My ultimate sustenance comes from God. I look to him, not ultimately to the things of this world, for sustenance in my life.

God, we pray that you would help us to have this perspective. One, to see you as the giver of all good gifts, and God in this, help us to avoid idolatry, help us not to seek gifts over you as the giver of those gifts. Help us to see you and worship you and thank you and praise you and trust you as the giver of all good gifts and when gifts are taken away from us, God we pray that you would help us to still trust you and praise you and worship you. We think about Job, when he lost his children and possessions and even health and he said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be praised.” God, help us to praise you as the giver, even when the gifts are scarce. Even when the gifts are not what we would like them to be, help us to worship you as the giver, as our sustainer who even when we don’t have certain things in this world, even when certain good gifts are taken away from us in this world, God, we still look to you and trust in you as our sustainer, as our helper, as our provider, as the one who takes responsibility on a daily basis for our care.

All glory be to your name as the one who gives all good gifts, and we praise you, oh God. We praise you that when the day comes and all the good gifts we have in this world are gone, even our breath itself, we will still have you as the giver, and so we can say to live as Christ and to die is gain. All glory be to you oh God, the giver of all good gifts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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