THE WEEK OF LAETARE – THURSDAY
LESSON: PSALM 36
Thy steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Thy faithfulness to the clouds. Psalm 36:5
God’s power and might is in the very bread we eat. He is present in this bread and nourishes us through it and under it, but in an invisible manner. We think that it is the bread that does it all! But where no bread is available, He nourishes men without bread by His Word alone. He acts here also as He acts under the bread, invisibly. The bread is His “fellow worker,” as Paul says, “We are fellow workers for God” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
Through and under our external office of the ministry, He gives His grace inwardly—that grace which He could actually give without our office and does give without it. But while the office is there, one should not despise it or tempt God.
So also He nourishes us through bread externally, but inwardly He alone gives the growth and digestion which the bread cannot give. In short, all creatures are God’s masks and mummers, whom He wants to work along with Him and help Him to accomplish all sorts of things, which He could certainly accomplish without their co-operation and also does accomplish without them.
This is what He has ordained so that we should learn to cling to His pure Word alone. If there is bread, do not put all your confidence in it; if there is no bread, there are still no grounds for despair. Use the bread when it is available and do without it when it is not available.
But at all times we should be certain that we are nourished by the Word of God, whether bread is available or not. With this faith, one conquers greed, bodily indulgence, and temporal concern for our nourishment.
PRAYER: Keep us ever alert, heavenly Father, to the fact that we continually need the blessing of Your Word in all that we do in our daily lives, even in our eating and drinking, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.