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Bread and Water

July 30th, 2006

“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore,
but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying,
This is the way, walk in it…”

(Isaiah 30:20,21)

“What’s for supper?” I’d ask my mom (translated—“Can we eat now?”). The usual response was, “Wait until your father gets home from work.” “Okay mom.” Five minutes later—we’d run through the same information again. This time, however, she’d reply to my question—“bread and water.” And, so, early on, I would frequently hear the expression “bread and water.”

The expression “bread of adversity and water of affliction” turns up in Isaiah 30:20-21. Historical research into the bread and water proves this phrase to be a prison reference. 1 Kings 22:27 reads, “Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison and feed him meager rations of bread and water…” It carries the idea of difficult times coming to an end when the people of God would suddenly behold their “Teacher.” The English Standard Version capitalizes “Teacher.” We have reason to think that this Teacher is a Messianic reference. Jesus entered his public ministry, appearing, not just as another teacher, but as the Teacher (Mk. 12:14; John 1:38; 11:28; 3:2; 14:6). The Dead Sea Scrolls also state that the Qumran Community was waiting for the coming of one called, “the Teacher of Righteousness”.

Friend, do you sit at his feet today, or have you settled for bread and water?

Robert M. Housby

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