Casting Your Bread

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Ecclesiastes 11:1

Years ago, there was a phrase that was used quite often: “Bread upon the waters.” You do not hear that much any more, mainly because people no longer practice its truth. I have commented before on the loss of a Biblical vocabulary in our present culture, but the problem is beyond that. The phrase comes directly from the verse of Scripture that is listed above: Ecclesiastes 11:1. Few preachers refer to it in any message, and even fewer people quote it. That is a great shame, because Ecclesiastes 11:1 has a lot of meat that could help us in our day-to-day lives.

Once upon a time, in a mystical land that time has forgotten, people helped one another, whether they knew each other or not, without seeking recompense. Folks knew that if you did a good deed for someone, then that good deed would come back to you, normally when you needed it most. Sound stupid or too goody-goody for you? Well, it’s not. Ecclesiastes 11:1 was more than just a nice little verse hanging upon the walls of one’s home. It was much more than that. It was a motto that people lived by.

When one would cast their “bread upon the water”—their money, time, whatever was important to them—in order to help another person, they knew that it would come back to them. Many times it was over and above what they had given. It was similar to the “law of sowing and reaping” as is found in many other places in the Word of God. Yet, “casting your bread” was more of a promise of blessing, than a warning.

Many times when people did something for another, whether stranger, friend or family member, they would refuse any kind of payment, and reply that it was “Bread upon the waters”, because they knew that sooner or later, they would need help of some kind.

Today, we live in a much more selfish culture. We do not trust folks. We don’t have time to waste on the problems of others. The fact is we have a variety of reasons for not being kind, generous or helpful—like the Bible commands. We would rather concern ourselves with what’s ours, and let the Devil take the hindmost. Frankly, we do not care.

I have been in situations before, when I desperately needed some help. For example: a few years ago, I had a tire to blow out on me while coming home from work. It was January, cold, and raining. Needless to say, I was not having fun! I pulled up in a church’s parking lot, and proceeding to try to change my tire. I succeeded, but with the dropping temperatures, the rain, it took a while. The thing that amazed me most was that dozens of cars passed by me, and would stare at me as if I were some roadside attraction! But, none offered to help. I guess a bald-headed guy with a beard and in his late twenties is too dangerous looking for most people! Maybe I should have been wearing a towel on my head. No, then I would have been reported to Homeland Security.

My point is that one day, those folks that passed and didn’t bother to stop, or offer any assistance, will one day need help of some kind as well, and it will not come. Like it or not, that is what Ecclesiastes 11:1 teaches. Good or bad, or nothing at all—it will come back, and more often than not, kick you in the head. My apologies to the late Dean Martin.

Whether you realize it or not, we are all casting something upon the waters of life. You maybe casting good bread, bread that is precious to you, but you part with it anyhow, because someone else needs it. Then again, you may be casting old, moldy bread. Or, you may be casting rocks, claiming that it’s bread. Regardless, we are all casting something upon those waters. Whatever we cast, it will come back to us. Sometimes it’s exactly what you had cast, no more, no less. Other times it comes back two-fold, sometimes one hundred-fold. But, it always comes back.

Some people refuse to help others in any way, shape or form, because “No good deed goes unpunished.” That maybe true for the idiot that is unappreciative. However, the person that you help and are kind to is not the One Who writes the paychecks!

You do not have to be rich or poor to obey Ecclesiastes 11:1. Just kind.

We need a revival of kindness and generosity in America. We have lost that in our homes, churches, cities and towns. If all of this is foreign to you, then start out with little things, like holding doors open for folks. Speaking to strangers with just a hello and a smile. Eventually, you will find yourself doing unbelievable things, and your family and friends will think that you’ve been brainwashed. Maybe, but with the Word of the Almighty.

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Ecclesiastes 11:1

By D. Ray Perdue, Jr.
© Copyright 2006 Ray Perdue/Swamp Fox Files

2 comments:

CurlyGirl said...

Great message brother! Thank you.

The Swamp Fox said...

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it.