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Worship Series: Lord’s Prayer
Worship Theme: Our Daily Bread
- O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer
- Change My Heart, Oh God
- Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
- CW 462: Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways
- CW 334: Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow
Message: Our Daily Bread
Pastor Jake Schram
As we come upon this Fourth of July weekend, we see just how very blessed we are. In this country we have so many freedoms, especially the freedom of religion. We don’t have to walk around in fear of being killed for our faith. Many of us have been blessed with places to live, things to eat, stuff to enjoy, and family and friends to be around. He has given us so much. Every week during the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to give us our daily bread, which encompasses more than just bread. Today we see God provides all that we need. He is the source of every blessing and he is worthy of praise.
Our text for today comes from Psalm 145. Psalm 145 was meant to be a bridge between Psalms 138-144 and Psalm 146-150. In Psalm 144:9-10 King David proclaims,
“I will sing a new song to you, my God;
on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
to the One who gives victory to kings,
who delivers his servant David”
Psalm 145 is the new Song David was going to sing to God. In other words, Psalm 145 is transitioning us to the very last collection of Psalms. These Psalms will praise the Lord. Psalm 145 is an alphabetic acrostic. That means that each successive line in the psalms starts with the very next letter of the alphabet. It’s a beautiful work of art that doesn’t quite show when translated to English. Psalm 145 is also the only psalm subtitled, “song of praise.” As we will see, this theme will be the backdrop of what Psalm 145 teaches us today.
As Psalm 145 presents itself, first we see an emphasis on God’s great deeds of power, but then there’s a shift as it starts to focus on God’s relationship with his creatures. Verse 15 tells us,
“The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.”
These statements recognize God as the source of all blessings. David seems to both be telling these thoughts from personal experience and from what others have experienced and seen. This observation extends across space and time. David proclaims how obvious it is that God is the source of all blessings.
Sometimes, the obvious can be hard to see. I suffer from this problem, and my wife can attest to it, that I miss the totally obvious. If you want to hide something on me, in front of my face might be a good place to start. Maybe your kids are like this too. Or perhaps your parents. When they miss what is right in front of their faces and immediately ask you where something is. Sometimes we just aren’t looking in the right place.
When I was little, my parents would hide Easter eggs for me to find. When I grew up, my wife and I thought it would be fun to reverse the roles. We sometimes hide eggs on our parents. Both of my parents have very different places where they struggle to find eggs. My dad sometimes misses the smaller details and so eggs that are slightly covered can be harder for him to find. My mom is the opposite way.
She notices all the details, but if we hide the egg right outside her direct vision line, but still in plain sight, it’s really hard for her to find. She’s incredibly smart, but it can be difficult for her to find the source of the candy (the Easter egg), if it’s in front of her face.
How very often we are like this when trying to find blessings? We think of all the scenarios. We look to our resources, our willpower, our strategies and make sure to account for all the details. However, we miss the big picture that all blessings come from God. It’s obvious God is the source of all blessings. And yet, we use him as a last resort. We should go to him first. Otherwise, it’s like a man who is thirsty standing two feet to the right of a fountain with his mouth open. He’s missing the obvious source of the blessing. Our text tells us to look eagerly to God as the source for blessings because he is from whom all blessings flow.
The beautiful thing about Psalm 145 is the emphasis is not on the mistakes we’ve made or the punishment we deserve. Rather, the emphasis is on the Lord’s mercy, which moves him to provide for his whole creation, even when we often look the wrong way. He has a special love and care for his people. He hears their prayers and brings freedom for each of his children. He forgives and restores each and every one of us when we sin. He has done it for us in the past, continues to do it in the present, and promises to do this for us in the future. Jesus’ death and resurrection guarantee it for every day of our life.
That is part of why our text says the eyes of all look to God. The word in Hebrew is not just staring at God and waiting to see what happens. It’s more like waiting for what you know is already coming. God is going to bless you and so you can look at him with eyes of expecting faith, knowing full well He’ll give you what is best.
Notice the qualifier too. He will give food at the proper time. If some of us were in charge, we would give ourselves everything, but that’s probably not the best thing here on earth. We’d give ourselves too many distractions that could take us away from God. It’d be too easy for us to become spoiled and forget about him. So God often let’s us go through tough times so we remember to keep our eye expectantly on God. He is the source of all blessings.
The next verse of our text says,
“You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”
I love that first part. God doesn’t keep the blessings closed and hidden away from us in his hand. He opens up his hand and pours out the blessings. And it’s not the cheap stuff or leftovers he gives out. It’s the good stuff that satisfies the desires of every living thing. God’s works are too numerous to count and too marvelous to comprehend fully. You don’t have enough time on earth to study all the wonders he’s accomplished. You can never run out of things to marvel at. David has realized this and is bursting with praise to the Lord for his greatness and goodness. And he should because God is worthy of praise.
How do you react? Like you don’t have enough. That maybe God isn’t worthy of praise. After all, you know people with bigger houses, nicer cars, healthier relationships, no financial concerns, and less problems. Some people seem to get whatever they want. And you just don’t seem to be one of those people. Our eyes slip from the source of true blessing and we begin to covet a lot of things we don’t really need.
Look at all the things you do have. We are going to change things up a bit. I’m going to be silent for a whole minute. It’s going to be weird. It’s going to be an awkward silence. The people watching from home are going to be wondering if the volume went out on their TV’s and computers. One whole minute of silence. And during this minute I want you to think of/write down things God has blessed you with. It can be the compliment you received this morning, thanks that the sun came up another day, or whatever comes to mind. No blessing is too big or too small. Got it? Ok. Ready? Set? Go!
(Wait a whole minute)
How’d it go? Ok, I want everyone here (and those watching at home) to stand up if you thought of at least one thing God has blessed with. Does anyone want to share something?.
Now, this does not mean life is all smiles and roses, but it’s not hard to see the hand of God at work among his creation. He gives us physical things that we need in our daily lives. More importantly, he gives us the spiritual things we need for eternal life. Jesus won salvation for every single one of you, every single one of you because he cares about you. He defeated sin for us and paid the price in our place so we could be with him in heaven. That alone makes him worthy of praise. In his mercy he gives us so much more for this life and the next. We can have the same attitude as King David.
God has certainly done wonderful things for us. Things too good to keep to ourselves. He is the source of all blessings, both physical and spiritual. We keep our eyes focused on him as he freely gives them to us. We also see he is worthy of praise. We have so much to be thankful for and proclaim with the Psalmist (v. 21), “Let every creature praise his name!” Each week we pray the Lord’s prayer and ask for our daily bread. Each week we recognize God has certainly given it. God provides all we need.