“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.” (Deuteronomy 8:3-4).
These verses are part of a greater context where, in the fortieth year of the wandering, Moses is reviewing with Israel the law and all that God had spoken to them and done for them.
God had humbled his people by allowing them to suffer hunger and then miraculously providing them with manna for forty years. But why?
“That He might make you know….” God wanted them to know their daily reliance upon God’s will. The power that sustained their lives for forty years was not in the food – the manna. The power that sustained them was in all of God’s word, His will. It was by God’s powerful will or word that He daily cared for them and fed them. On their end, they saw and ate manna and wore garments that did not wear out on them. But by what power did they have those things daily? “By every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
After Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, Satan tempted Jesus this way: “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”’” (Matthew 4:3-4).
Jesus proclaimed the truth that His Father in heaven is the sustainer of men’s lives, including His, and He would by no means take things into His own hands to perform a miracle to satisfy His own desires. He would instead rely upon His Father to sustain Him and would be obedient to His word, His will.
Is it any wonder that when asked how to pray, Jesus taught his disciples to pray, among other things, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3)? We should recognize our utter dependence upon God every day.
The Hebrew writer tells us that the Son of God is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 11:3). We are being provided for physically every day through His powerful word.
It is true too that Israel should have known that God’s word was needed by them to also sustain them spiritually – their inner man. And we ought to know that lesson too. Our greater concern must be for the sustenance and health of the inner man, and that is going to come only through the words that proceed from the mouth of God.
While many in the world do not have God in their
thinking, are ungrateful, or are even arrogant about the means by which they
continue living every day, we know better.
Let us then pray to God for what we need today and thank Him for what we
receive from Him. And let us search out
and receive into our hearts His words from the Bible. For we shall “live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” -Larry Jones