“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise… but time and chance happen to all” Ecclesiastes 9:11
“Only rebel not against the LORD, neither fear you the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” Numbers 14:9
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
Bread is another way of saying provision. That is what Jesus was speaking of and certainly what the audience would have understood. But I want you to notice a couple of things about provision you might not have seen before.
When Joshua and Caleb returned from spying out the Promised Land which had walled cities and giants living there, they were excited. What they saw was provision. Everything the enemies of God had built was just waiting for them to possess. Yes, there was this nasty little detail about giants but Joshua and Caleb knew they were well able to deal with the giants and possess the land as long as the Lord delighted in them and they did not get in fear.
Fear is a force much like faith. Faith makes God’s power available to us. Fear makes the devil’s influence available to us. Get in fear and you open the door to the devil to move in ways you really don’t want. Get in faith and you open the door for God to do things the devil cannot stop. Fear and faith both involve a strong belief. Fear is usually a belief in a bad outcome and faith is a belief in a God kind of outcome.
When they saw big problems, they also saw big opportunities. That’s why I am so excited about the day in which we live now. Big problems (bigger on the way) and big opportunities (bigger on the way). In the midst of the reality that problems are always joined at the hip with opportunities, we find Solomon’s claim that the wise don’t always succeed in getting the bread because time and chance happens to every one.
Time and chance are code words to indicate where God is at work. Joshua and Caleb recognized that in the natural the enemy had more bread and more strength than them but they also knew it was “TIME”. This was their chance. And they pleaded with their countrymen to no avail and that moment, that opportunity was lost forever. Everyone who got in fear and wouldn’t possess the land, though they relented shortly afterwards, still missed their opportunity and they died in the wilderness over the next 40 years.
My brothers and sisters, is this your TIME right now? Has God shown you an opportunity fraught with danger, toil and snare? Choose wisely this day.