Daily Bread and Demons

Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. Weigh out twenty shekels of food to eat each day and eat it at set times.

God always provided for people’s needs.  He gave manna in the desert.  Jesus said we should pray for our daily bread, which God is telling Ezekiel how to have here.  Jesus also said not to worry about what we eat, that it would be provided.

It is funny to me that today people pay twice as much to have “Ezekiel Bread,” as if it is the perfect health recipe.  For Ezekiel, it was a mishmash of grains and legumes that illustrated that times were hard, and bread would have to be made with ingredients that were usually only fed to cattle.

And Ezekiel was to have a set portion each day.  It reminds me how it says in Proverbs 30:9, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”  If God had allowed Ezekiel to have all the bread he wanted, he could have stuffed himself until he was fat and full, self focused and lazy in a constant “turkey coma.”   If Ezekiel was hungry for all 390 days, he could have been distracted and anxious.  God knows exactly how to take care of our physical needs in the best way, not only for our physical health, but for our spiritual health.

In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

I cannot worry about my physical needs.  God will take care of them.   I also cannot worry that evil will have power over me.  Jesus took care of that.  In Colossians 2:15 it says that Jesus on the cross had the effect of, “having stripped the principalities and the authorities,”  or as the NIV puts it, “he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.”  The Greek word for disarm means to completely put off, to thoroughly renounce. That is why I like the “stripped” translation.  God made it so the spiritual rulers and authorities are powerless over us.  As it says later in the chapter,  “You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world.”

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…..You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  (I J 4:1,4)

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ  ( Cor 2:14)

Now the prince of this world will be driven out.  (John 12:31)

Today, may I remember that God provides and God protects.  I am worried and fearful about the march of the powers of evil through the territories of my loved ones, through the world in general. I feel impotent against them.  But as it goes in my heart, so goes it in the world. Baptism, dying with Christ, stripped them of their ascendency in my heart.   Jesus prayed that we would be protected from the evil one.  God WILL protect us, and he WILL provide a way for evil to be vanquished, one soul, one incident at a time.

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