May 25, 2016
Bread and Butter
1And God spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3“You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:1–3
The saying, “knowing which side your bread is buttered on” refers to knowing the source of your blessings and who is on your side versus who isn’t. That Israel didn’t seem to know where their blessings came from must have made God scratch His head many times in the years after He gave the Ten Commandments. Yes, it was He who freed them from 400 years of slavery to Egypt with one mighty miracle after another. It was He who provided for them in the desert and kept them safe from their enemies. But in spite of all this, they acted as if God were the source of their woes, not their blessings. Not only did they complain to God, but they also turned to idols who had done nothing for them. In fact, these idols would mean their downfall.
But in mind-numbing forgetfulness about which side one’s bread is buttered on, they are not alone. We Christians, the New Testament Israel, can be pretty forgetful about the source of our blessings. Every blessing, both material and spiritual, comes from God. He has provided for us here and, in Christ’s passion and resurrection, for eternity. Yet we tend to fear, love, and trust other gods, as if our blessings came from them.
Let us remember that we have been set free from our own slavery to sin. We are redeemed by the blood of Christ, God in the flesh. We know on which side our bread is buttered. May God help us to live accordingly in trust, obedience, and joy.