Love without Bread

BREAD IS IN THE SEED AND SO IS LIFE

Bread does not grow on trees nor does it grown on its own.  Its life is in the seed and it has to be seeded into the earth and properly nourished to produce grain that can be turned into bread.  God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food” (Gen. 1:29).

The “seed” in itself is life.  It is a mystery, if we believe in chance that the world and everything in it evolved on its own from nothing.  If we believe in a supreme Creator or God, then it is no mystery at all because life begins in God and not in man, in animals, in plants and anything else in the universe.  The human attempt to determine whether life begins at conception or at birth is absolutely ludicrous.  The reason man keeps on stumbling in speculation is because he refuses to believe in extra perceptual revelation given to men and women recorded in the Bible.  Without faith in God’s self – disclosure, man will never understand the origin of life, neither will he understand why and how to sustain it.  Next to creating life, the second most important act of the Creator was to limit life and not allow it to be wasted forever.  Can we imagine if we would not die what this world would look like?  Man would be lost forever.

There are two accounts in the Bibel that explain the origin of life.  The first account is in Genesis 2:4-7.  “In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up – for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the ground.  It was then that the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”  The “breath of God” is the life – bearing seed and the man carries the seed and passes it on when he fuses with a female earthling, where the seed dies and is reborn in another seed – bearing being.  The woman is the ground the seed needs to grow before it can be sustained in the world.  The same procedure is at work in all beings and also in plants.  Without the earth no life or bread can be produced. 

The second important principle of the life – bearing seed is that it must die before it can be reborn into another being.  Death is not the end but the beginning of new life.  If the seed is not planted, that life ceases to exist.  The Apostle Paul has two revealing references to the origin of life and a bit impatient with unbelievers. “You foolish man!   What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.  But God gives it a new body as he has determined, and to each kind its own body” (I Cor. 15:36-38).  The Lord God decided what He hoped we would turn out to be in Christ before He laid out the world. “He chose us in Him before the laying of the foundation of the world, hat we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4).  What does all this mean to me?  My father did not create me at conception or at birth neither did his father create my father nor his father before him.  We were God’s handiwork in passing on the seed of life.  We were merely fulfilling God’s command, “Be fruitful and multiply, subdue the earth and have dominion over everything that moves on earth” (Gen. 1:28).

The second account that life begins with God is the Virgin Birth of Christ (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38). In the first account, Genesis 2:7 “The first man Adam became a living being; the second Adam (the Christ) became a life-giving spirit” (I Cor. 15:45).   The Second Adam represents life the way God had intended it to be.  Jesus the Christ fulfilled everything the First Adam failed to do (Mt. 5:17-18).  The seed of life in both men came from God, who is Spirit  (Isa. 7:14; Jn. 4:24).  The First Adam disobeyed God, fell to temptation and died.  The Second Adam obeyed God, did not eat the food the devil offered and did not stay in the grave (Mt. 3:15; Lk. 4:3-4; Isa. 25:8; Hos. 13:14).  The Second Adam’s accomplishment is out of this world and no other human being can nor does anyone need to walk in His sandals.  But there was one thing Jesus did, we all must do and it is this, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). 

The first response is frightening because who can keep everything that has come from the mouth of God?  There is way too much speculation as to what Jesus had in mind.  The issue was how to get some quick bread for a hungry person, and all men become hungry, even the Son of God.  Being who Jesus was, why not turn a few stones into a quick meal?  Why not break a law of nature and satisfy hunger?  Why go hungry when you have the power to change things for a legitimate need?  I see in Jesus’ response to Satan an act of correcting Adam and Eve’s abuse of power not to eat that particular fruit.  To turn stones into bread would have been another act of disobedience and Satan and not man would have been victorious.  An abuse of power to satisfy even a basic need is unacceptable to God and to Christ and it should be to all of us.  Instant satisfaction does not have the means or resources to continue repeatedly to still hunger.  God will not break his own law by releasing man from making his own bread.

There is a second response and it deals with resisting temptation when it is most crucial.  Hunger is very powerful and that is when most us will cave in and do illegal acts.  I have been there and do speak from experience.  I did what Adam and Eve did.  I took what was not mine and ate it.  I did not have the power to stay away from an apple or a turnip.  Jesus did use his power to resist the temptation to feed himself illegally.  The principle is, man must control bread and not have bread control man.

The difference between the two Adams was self-control.  The answer was given to Cain, “Sin is crouching at the door, but you must control it” (Gen. 4:7).  Man’s problem has been, “Matter over mind, instead of mind over matter.  The flesh and not the mind controls man and the animals.  The flesh’s desire to live and the demand for food and drink win out constantly.  The Apostle Paul had both hands on the mind and the body or the spirit and the flesh. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Ro. 8:5-8).

The flesh wants miracles because it is controlled by hunger and hunger needs bread, regardless of who provides it.  The Israelites were people whose flesh was being satisfied by the Canaanites, the Egyptians and from manna from heaven. They expected the Messiah to do the same.  When Jesus fed five and four thousand people, it appeared that the new messianic age had arrived; but when Jesus informed them that food, if it is not controlled by the mind it will perish, they stopped following him (Jn. 6:27).  Bread has a spiritual significance.  It is God’s seed and it has to be kept alive and clean before it is seeded or planted in soil that will yield sufficient food and free the mind from overburdening itself with the worry of bread alone.  The Hebrew farmers, and every tribe and household except the Levites lived on land, were not allowed to plant two kinds of seed on the same ground (Lev. 19:19) or expose it to pollutants (Lev. 11).  Fruit from polluted land could not be used for four years (Lev. 19:25).  If seed is damaged or defiled it will still be edible but with risks of ailments, diseases and death.  A plant is very much like a human body.  Its sap like blood absorbs poison and causes problems for the system.  The Creator has helped man to identify the edible from the inedible by giving it an identifiable body, like wheat from barley or rye (I Cor. 15:38).

The seed for bread was not created to make it on its own.  The Creator gave man the seed and not the finished bread (Gen. 1:29).  A man does not just go out and spread the seed anywhere.  I was born and grew up on farms and we did not lose seventy-five percent of the seed or harvests because we seeded on land well prepared and nourished, even when it was rocky.  If we give seed the proper environment and care it will produce the opposite of what The Sower in the Gospels projected (Mk. 4:1-20).  In fact, without nourished and rested soil and the assistance of weeding and watering, we got less that twenty-five percent.  God has put the power or energy in the seed, but he has also put the seed in the hands of man to help it grow and reward man for his efforts.  It also needs protection from other plants but also from predators like animals and bugs.  I know first hand what domesticated animals can do to a crop and I have picked countless potato bugs.  We need to understand that the principle, “Do onto others as you want them to do unto you,” also applies to the seed that gives us our daily bread.  What we put into it and the way we treat it, will be the proportion we shall receive.  Jesus gave us an example how powerful and alive seed is, even in a tinny mustard seed.  “It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted I his garden.  It grew, became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches” (Lk. 13:19).