The Minimum Daily Requirements

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According to the “experts,” in order to survive and thrive, we humans need at least four basic elements: water, air, food, and light. That seems reasonable, but if you do minimal research, you’ll discover that there are varying opinions, scientific and otherwise, on the exact minimum daily requirements.

Most sources agree that air (oxygen), water, and food are important. If we’re talking about green plants, scientists concur that light is a necessity, and since we humans need plants as a source for both our food and our oxygen, let’s agree that light is a basic requirement for humans. We can argue back and forth about this list of “the big four,” but for the sake of this analogy, indulge me.

But what does Scripture say about our minimum daily requirements?

To start with, there are 722 Biblical references to water; in fact, water is mentioned more often than faith, hope, and prayer. Here’s another tidbit—water is mentioned both at the beginning of Genesis as well as at the end of Revelation. We read right away in Genesis 1:2, “The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” Water is such an essential component of life that it was created on the first day. And in Revelation 22:17, John writes, “…let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.” Here’s a short list of well-known “water” references in the Bible:

God parts the Red Sea. (Exodus 14:26-27)

Moses strikes the rock for water. (Exodus 17:6)

Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink. (John 4:7)

John baptizes Jesus. (Matthew 3:13-17)

Jesus turns water to wine. (John 2:1-11)

If you need more water stories, in your spare time you can look up the remaining 717 references. Suffice it to say that water is essential.

Let’s move on to air, and right up front, let’s agree that air/oxygen/breathing is necessary for life. If you disagree, you can argue with me while you hold your breath. In Genesis 2:7, God formed man and “…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life….” Later, Job stated that “the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). In Acts 17:25, Luke wrote that God “Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” To summarize, air is a critical necessity.

And what about food? In Genesis, 9:3, God said to Adam, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.…” God also provided food for the ever-whining Israelites in the form of manna and quail (“…at twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread….” Exodus 16:12). In what is now known as The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus instructed us to ask God for “our daily bread.”

Finally, the fourth of the bare necessities—light—is used to symbolize God and faith and holiness throughout the Bible. The prophet Micah wrote, “…thought I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” (Micah 7:8). In Psalm 18:28, David prayed, “Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” The apostle Matthew counseled us to “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Water. Air. Food. Light. Important for our physical lives. Crucial for our spiritual lives:

…those who drink of the water I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

Jesus is “the breath of our nostrils, the Anointed of the Lord.” (Lamentations 4:20)

…I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry….” (John 6:35)

“…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Scientifically, we know that our minimum daily requirements for survival include water, air, food, and light to survive. But what would that life be like without the living water, without God’s breath of life, without the bread of life, and without Jesus—the light of the world? I don’t want to find out.


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3 thoughts on “The Minimum Daily Requirements”

  1. Well this week I’m really late on my Sunday Teresa Ford readings!
    However last Sunday in church in Revelation 21:1, the line and there was no Sea perplexed me ( not the first time). I love the water, I’m a captain I grew up starting at eight years old, boating with my Dad, I’m almost closing in on 70 now and I still absolutely love boating, the water and everything about it. So I was like, “hey what do you mean there’s no sea?” But we will find out in glory. Thank you Teresa for your Sunday messages.

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