Bread is a very interesting thing in the Torah. Bread represents God’s provision.
When Israel was in the wilderness and had nothing to eat “Moses said, ‘Here is what the Lord has commanded. He has said, “Get three pounds of manna. Keep it for all time to come. Then those who live after you will see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert. I gave it to you when I brought you out of Egypt.”’” Exodus 16:32.
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3. It wasn’t just the about the bread but faithful obedience rooted in trust in God. If people didn’t trust God to provide for their daily needs and tried to horde the bread for a later time it would rot (Exodus 16: 20) or it wouldn’t be there (Exodus 16:27) if they tried to get extra on the Sabbath.
Although bread is considered a positive symbol often associated with faith it was used twice in the story of Jacob when trying to manipulate who would receive the blessing of the birthright. “Then Jacob gave Esau bread and vegetable soup, and he ate and drank, and then left. So Esau showed how little he cared about his rights as the firstborn son.” Genesis 25:34 Later we read “…she [his mother] gave Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. Jacob went in to his father and said, ‘Father.’ And his father said, ‘Yes, my son. Who are you?’ Jacob said to him, ‘I am Esau, your first son. I have done what you told me. Now sit up and eat some meat of the animal I hunted for you. Then bless me.’” Genesis 27:16-19. We are supposed to remember that our dependence should be on God. And God’s provision which allows us to have bread should’ve to helped us trust in God’s words rather than or own feelings. But as we can see bread can be misused.
Notice that the bread was mixed with other things when trying to lead others astray from their original purpose. Jacob didn’t just offer his brother bread when trying to get him to give up his birthright but bread with a soup he desired. Jacob didn’t just give his father bread when trying to trick his father but bread and tasty food to take a blessing. Is soup evil? No. Is tasty food evil? No. I am not saying that we can’t learn from anything that isn’t literally written down in the Bible. The God who made nature can show us lessons in nature that we can apply to our lives, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Proverbs 6:6 “…The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1. The Bible itself encourages us to look at the world around us for truth. But we can run into trouble when we mingle what God has given us with other things that are personally appealing to us if those things become a distraction from or an excuse to ignore the bread of the word of God. Be careful not to deceitfully handle the word of God by mingling it with that are contrary to what the Lord wants from us to justify selfish motives. Be sure you are feasting on the Lord’s words and not your own.