Not By Bread Alone
Deuteronomy 8:3 (ESV) -- And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Humans require food to survive. You can go without a lot of things and survive, but food is not one of them. We all know this truth. It is a basic fact of life. So when we hear God say something like “man doesn’t live by bread alone,” we know that whatever else man lives by must be vital. Food is an essential commodity of life. Every man must eat. But if there is something that gets equal status in importance for our lives, we should pay attention.
Our passage today points us to such an essential. In Deuteronomy 8:3, we read, “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Notice the details given about God’s interaction with the people of Israel in the wilderness. He let them hunger and fed them. He let them feel the need, and then He met the need. What was His purposes for doing this? He wanted them to learn that man didn’t live by just bread and food alone. It is important, but physical needs aren’t everything. Man is a spiritual creature as well and needs God. We need God’s Word. We need His life-giving commands, direction, and love.
As creatures made by God, consisting of physical and spiritual reality, we need food and God’s Word. We need physical nourishment and spiritual nourishment. Jesus uses this passage when He battles against Satan in the wilderness (Luke 4). Jesus is starving after fasting for weeks and weeks. Satan approaches Him and tempts Him to turn the stones into bread if He is truly the Son of God. This temptation isn’t just appealing to Jesus’ hunger, but His pride to prove Himself to Satan. But instead of doing it, He quotes this Deuteronomy passage. Man doesn’t just need food. He needs God’s Word. Man needs the nourishment of obeying God. The same is true for us. Let’s feed on the Word today and ask God to let it nourish us spiritually.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does this passage teach us about the importance of God’s Word?
- How can we live on every word that comes from the mouth of God?
- What is your biggest struggle with consistently getting in God’s Word?
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