Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cast Your Bread Upon The Waters

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days."-(Ecclesiastes 11:1)
Indeed, Solomon sounds a call to faith. A trumpet call of wisdom that sends the weak of belief into trepidation, trembling and testing. But before one quakes with the insecurity of quavering disbelief, it is important to seek the origin and meaning in a word to in order to understand its power and thereby glean its deepest benefit.

I love the Word of God. It is entirely rich, incredibly beautiful and absolutely perfect. But our understanding of the Word is often poor, our thoughts limiting and our ways flawed. That is why we must seek the fullness of the Word through true examination. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and seeking Him demands our full attention. I also am a firm believer that the Lord has left us treasure hidden in deep places, fortunes stowed far past the outer, immediate layers of a specific Word. In other words, God WANTS us to "read between the lines". I was in prayer and the Lord led me to Ecclesiastes 11:1. Upon reviewing it I began to meditate on sowing seed into the ocean of need. As I prayed and and asked for further instruction, I heard- "Squint your eyes and look closer." I re-read it again and began to investigate further...

In some dissertations, the meaning is defined as an old Hebrew Idiom meaning to give to charity and it will be returned to you. In middle-eastern history "cast your bread on the surface of the waters," is rendered from the tradition of sowing seed by casting it from boats into overflowing rivers, or in marshy ground. When the waters recede, the grain will fall to the soil and spring up. Some scholars sited the same custom, specifically with the annual overflow of the Nile, and the seed specifically rice, which fares successfully germinating in marshy shores. The interpretation that I felt rang truest in my spirit is a cross-breed of these; The flooding of the shorelines of certain Palestinian rivers (the Jordan,et al) would leave an inch or more of rich, silty overflow on which, wise farmers would sow wheat for the coming seasons. The wheat fared well in germination, growth and inevitably produced a richer harvest. The "bread" is the wheat to become actual bread, and the waters, are well, waters. I believe that the Hebrew translations and the anthropological implications of the latter description to be the most relevant to Solomon the wise, author of this text, and the most appropriate to the time and region. Authors of the scripture operating within the impartation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit often sited contemporary similies, allegories and parallels to enrich the reader's understanding and retention of a word.

After delving into the definitive natural, I sought to gain insight into the SUPER-natural. What did the Lord mean to convey spiritually through this verse? I believe that there is a broad, wonderfully kingdom-minded principle to be obtained here. The world is the ocean of need, our bread is literally the provision that we can give to the hungry and starving to survive. There are over 3 BILLION starving people on earth, TODAY. Casting literal bread out to those in need is imperative, but that is not necessarily a direct spiritual revelation. It is rather, the result of a deeper revelation of the spirit man. I do believe that we, as believers must live to feed the hungry, as we are the hands of Christ here on the earth. But the Lord quickened me to another verse to lead me to the deeper meat being offered. "For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always."-(Matthew 26:11) This truly made me "squint". I heard it. I understood its original meaning and the context that Jesus spoke in. I also know that Jesus himself IS the "Bread of Life". Our daily bread which we are to cast for all to receive is the Christ Himself, and His Gospel. The return that we see after many days will be abundant and eternal. But I reflected on Ecclesiastes 11:1 and then those words, and it struck me- We must be generous to all with all that the Bread of Life has given to us in order to remain in the presence of the King. Casting your bread on the waters had the absolute of being liberally generous with knowlege of a great return, but what became clearer, for me, was God's desire for this to be not simply a wise bit of counsel telling us to hedge our bets because we don't know what's coming, but rather a call to true faith... GENEROUS FAITH.

Like a waterfall, more was flowing to me in the spirit. "The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."-(Proverbs 11:25) Then the Lord showed me in Deuteronomy regarding the year of Jubilee- "Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him."-(Deuteronomy 15:14)

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." It means that we must absolutely trust God with our entire being. We must trust Him at His Word with our goods, properties, finances and all that we steward over. We must trust God at His Word with our Love, consideration and generosity of emotion. We must, perhaps above all else, trust Him at His Word with our ENTIRE spirit. Truthfully, if we absolutely do trust Him with our whole spirit, the rest is easy. That is why we believe so strongly that if you don't tithe unto God, you simply don't believe Him at His Word. But that is for another time... Nevertheless, the purpose for this exposition is for me to share my heart regarding seeking the depth of a matter, a word or a leading. God is so very detailed in His directions. It is us who miss the contours, specific insights and fine lines hidden within, usually as a result of our habitual superficial humanity. But when we stop and dig deeper, when we "Squint our eyes and look closer"... that is when we glean the best from His Word. So I encourage you today: Cast your bread, your trust, your faith and your depth of desire out on the waters, and be broadened.


  1. Masterfully writ. Meaty, yet digestible. For myself, I gather reading this felt similar to what one would feel if one were to happen upon a well authored recipe to an exquisite meal they have just eaten.