By John McCoury
Roan Mountain, Tennessee
“Then 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.” Genesis 1:29 The point of this whole narrative is that God has made a marvelously complete provision for His creation. The world of nature is full of the most astonishing pieces of evidence of the care of God.
How is it that certain birds can fly with an unerring instinct halfway around the world and find a tiny pinpoint of land in the middle of the ocean, though this is the first time they have made the flight? How is it that bees can maintain the temperature of their hive within a variation of a few degrees, regardless of whether it is a hot summer’s day or a cold winter’s morning outside? How is it that certain varieties of spiders have learned how to capture bubbles of air and build nests underwater, bringing those bubbles down from the surface and thus creating tiny diving bells in which they rear their young? Who taught them to do a strange thing like that?
But look at people. Look how apparently ill-equipped we are, with basically no instincts at all. We must be patiently taught everything all over again in each generation. If children are abandoned to the wilds, as sometimes through accidents they have been, their lives will be more beast-like than the beasts. They cannot even talk to one another. Isn’t it humbling to realize that we could solve the problems of the earth by removing one species: Homo sapiens?
If something happened tomorrow to remove humans from the face of the earth, it would not be long until the skies would clear and the stars could be seen at night, the waters and rivers would run clear again, the forests would grow back on the denuded hillsides, and the earth would be restored to an orderly, balanced, beautiful kingdom.
What is the problem? Humanity is the problem. Why is this? The Lord Jesus put His finger right on the answer when He said, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4). When God provided bread as people’s basic food, bread made from the grains of earth, the seed-bearing plants and their fruits, He intended, as we have seen all through this account, that such physical bread would be a picture of the bread desperately needed at the spiritual level of people as well. That bread of the spirit is the understanding of God’s will. I am the bread of life, said Jesus. “He who comes to me will never go hungry. . . that eats of me shall never hunger” (John 6:35). He will never walk in darkness; will never be at a loss to know what is the next step to take to solve the problems with which he is confronted; will not be left like a naked, homeless orphan wandering blindly through a mysterious universe whose forces he does not understand, but he will know where he is going and what he is doing and how to do it. The Son of God has come, and He gives us understanding.
Lord, I hunger for the bread of the spirit. May that bread be my provision today as I seek to understand and do Your will. Isn’t it humbling to realize that we could solve the problems of the earth by removing one species: Homo sapiens? How does God’s provision of His Son enlighten us?