Photo by Franzi Meyer
And you shall set the bread of the presence on the table before me regularly. Exodus 25:30
God gives instruction concerning the bread, which He refers to as the bread of the presence. It was to be put before Him at all times in the Holy place. The bread here is symbolic of God’s sustenance for us.
The priests were to eat it
And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him most holy portion out of the LORD’s food offering, perpetual due. Leviticus 24:8
God commands the priests to eat the bread of the presence. They were also to make sure to eat it at holy place. The bread here symbolizes the sustenance of God’s presence for the priests and us believers. The priests weren’t supposed to find ways of sustaining themselves. They couldn’t work a regular job; their job was to minister to the Lord and the people. And because they couldn’t sustain themselves, they had to depend on God’s presence for sustenance. They had to be sustained by God in everything. He became their all in all. Every need they had was met and fulfilled by His presence.
Even though we get to go out and work, we also get to depend on His presence to sustain us. We are commanded to eat the bread of the presence because we are priests. We begin to live enabled by His presence. We live and have our being in Him not apart from Him. We don’t live like the world, we allow His presence to sustain and satisfy us.
Do you that His presence is enough for you? Do you know that God can so fill your life with Himself that even though there are things that aren’t working you get to a place where you become so satiated by and with Him that He becomes more than enough?
The word of God
The bread of His presence also symbolizes the word of God.
But he answered, “ It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Jesus is referencing Deuteronomy, where God speaks concerning His provision for the Israelites in the wilderness. God tells them that He allowed them to go without food to reveal to them that He was their sustenance. God would sustain them through His word (manna) and His presence. He would satisfy their every need. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
For the children of Israel manna was the very word of God for them. For us, the word of God is our spiritual manna. When we consistently get in the word of God we train ourselves not only to live on physical bread but also learn to live by the bread of His presence. We come to a place where we depend on God’s word the same way we depend on literal bread. We know we cannot live spiritually without His word. We get to a place of understanding that we cannot live without His presence. We cannot do anything except by His presence.
I have found myself in seasons where this became true for me. I didn’t have much, but I had the word that God had spoken to me. It became my bread and sustenance for that season. It carried me through difficult things and filled the places where there was lack.
Through partaking in the word of God, we receive spiritual sustenance.
Sustained in dry places
And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11
God’s promise for us here is that the bread of His presence will become our sustenance in hard places. When we go through dry seasons, He will be our guide. His presence will satisfy all our needs so well that we become like well-watered gardens and springs that always have water. Not in seasons of abundance but in seasons of lack. We will not be able to tell the difference because we will have supernatural sustenance.
This is true for every believer. We are not promised a life of no trouble, but we are promised continual sustenance because His presence will always be with us.
May the bread of His presence become your sustenance in every season.