“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”Take one day at a time...
I still recall vividly the image of a man who lived in the neighborhood where I spent the early years of my life. People called him “the cannibal.” He was a short man with thick black hair, white skin, and a round, smiling face. No one could imagine that he was capable of doing what was said about him.
The man had been in jail several times, convicted of robbery. Finally he was sent to El Dorado, a terrible prison in the Venezuelan Amazon where the most dangerous criminals are incarcerated. The prison is in a remote jungle area, surrounded by rivers infested with piranhas and alligators. People said that it would be virtually impossible to escape from there; but this man escaped with two other convicts.
When the man was captured, he told of the odyssey he and his companions lived through after their escape. Hunger made them go almost insane, and to survive, two of them killed the third and ate part of his body. Thereafter, until his death, this man was known as “the cannibal.”
Hunger is one of the strongest compulsions a human being can experience. All other appetites and desires lose relevance in the face of the need for food. God knows it; He created us with this need. Jesus also knows it; He experienced the physical pangs and emotional anxiety generated by extreme hunger during His days in the wilderness before the beginning of His earthly ministry.
Human beings are unique in the universe. God created millions of species of animals with bodies of all different shapes and sizes, but not the ability to reason or have moral judgment or complex emotional feelings. He created the angels as spirits. However, He equipped human beings with minds of superior intelligence and souls that can appreciate the divine—and gave us bodies as well. The body sets us apart from the angels.
In an overreaction to the Apostle Paul’s teaching that we are to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things”(Colossians 3:2), some believers have a tendency to devalue the human body, to think of it as essentially “unholy” or, at best, of little importance. But this is not what the Scriptures teach. Jesus Himself valued the human body as one of God’s finest creations. He demonstrated this when He assumed human bodily form in the fetal stage and lived the whole process of biological development—infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood—just like you and me.
The human body is created by God. It is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). And, by God’s design, it needs food to survive.
Some have wondered why God didn’t create us with the ability to exist without food. Ultimately, like many such questions, this one can only be answered this way: God’s wisdom and God’s sovereignty are absolute. In this, as in all things, He knew what He was doing.
Before they sinned, Adam and Eve had no need to ask God for “daily bread”; it was guaranteed to them. “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). However, one tree bore forbidden fruit; and Eve and Adam, exercising their God–given free will, ate of that tree. Then their disobedience changed everything. From that point on, food could be obtained only at the cost of “painful toil,” wrenched from ground that God had cursed (Genesis 3:17-19).
Alan J. Gonzalez’ Spanish Colum for the War Cry (Excerpted from The Lord’s Prayerby Captain Alan J. Gonzalez. First Published by the US Southern Territory, Atlanta, GA, 2017. Available in Amazon.com)