May 3 - Wine, Oil, and Bread

By Lillian Sparks

Today's Scripture: Psalm 104:15

Central Thought: God provides His children with all that they need to be successful.

    Have you ever read a book on 'how to be successful at”. . . speaking, gardening, cooking, or leadership? There are a million easy step-by-step or how-to manuals in your favorite bookstore to choose from. The Psalmist gives us three basic ingredients that provide what we need to live a balanced, overcoming life. Simply—wine, oil, and bread. Three common items that can be found in your kitchen and used quite often. Yet, according to biblical symbolism they have a deeper meaning.

    First, wine in the Bible is a symbol of joy. This is not referring to intoxication that strong drink brings. The Bible clearly warns us against drinking in excess. This wine is what Nehemiah exclaimed, 'The joy of the LORD is your strength” (8:10). Where can we find this joy? The Psalmist says, 'In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (16:11). This joy is not some fleeting moment of happiness, but it is the deep abiding contentment that comes from trusting in the Lord.

    Second, oil in the Bible is a symbol of the anointing. Oil was used in the Old Testament to anoint prophets, priests, and kings to show consecration or divine appointment. This anointing indicated the presence of the Holy Spirit. Literally, the presence of the Holy Spirit will make our countenances shine with the glory of God. When Moses came down from his mountain encounter with God, the children of Israel could not look at him because of the brilliance of his face. People will know when we have been in God's presence and anointed by His Spirit.

    Third, bread in the Bible is a symbol of the Word of God. Naturally, good, wholesome bread gives the body many valuable and necessary nutrients. In the same way, the Word of God feeds the spiritual man and strengthens the soul. Jesus, who became the Bread of Life, was broken for us so that we may be made spiritually and physically whole.

    What truth can we apply to our lives? Everything we need to live an abundant life is found in Christ. He provides deep, abiding joy, the anointing of the Spirit, and the Word of God to sustain us. Wine, oil, and bread—it seems so simple, yet it is powerful in the life of every believer.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, will You restore the joy of my salvation, refresh me with a new anointing, and renew my love and hunger for Your Word. I confess that all that I need to live an abundant life can be found in You.

Today's Bible Reading: Judges 17:1-18:31; John 3:1-21; Psalm 104:1-23; Proverbs 14:20-21