Not By Bread Alone
“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:1-3).
How do we view the word of God? Certainly it is a guide for us—a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Certainly we believe it is wisdom and knowledge. But is it life?
When tempted in the desert to create bread from stones, our Lord responded to the temptations with these words from Deuteronomy 8: “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.”
Jesus, THE WORD, quoted the Scriptures. When facing temptation, when hungry to the point of starvation, when alone—THE WORD quoted the Word.
God’s word calls us into existence. His word defines us. His word gives us meaning. His word gives us life. Without it, we are like one without food, without what we need to survive, without breath in our lungs, without food in our belly. Without it we are starving, bereft, fading away.
Without fail, when I find myself failing, struggling, spiritually starving—it is because for a time I have forgotten to take in that which truly sustains me.
Louis Pasteur summarized his studies in biogenesis with the Latin Omne vivum ex vivo “all life is from life.” We see this principle in all creation. Only that which is living can create life.
Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
As I read these words from Hebrews, I am reminded of the surgery my wife recently underwent. In order to save her life, a surgeon made incisions and division and removed that which was bringing disease. How like the Word of God! The Word of God is a sword wielded by a mighty warrior! Protecting and defending, fighting the enemy of our souls! It is a scalpel wielded by the most skillful surgeon. Piercing us! Examining us! Cutting away that which would sicken us. Finding all within us that is not God’s will and working to remove it. Bringing life to starving souls.
The Word is ALIVE. And the Living Word of God brings life. True Life. Why did God give manna in the desert? To bring understanding that man does not live by bread alone. Man does not live only by that which he can hold in his hands. He does not live by that which he can explain or understand or control. As much as he strives to prove himself independent, capable, sufficient—he is alone, and starving in the desert without the Word of God. We live by all that proceeds from the mouth of God. The lesson of manna is that mankind has life by the Word of God
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts” Jeremiah 15:16 (ESV).
Father God, we praise you for your holy word. We praise and thank you that you desire that we know you. That we know LIFE. Grant us, Lord, a hunger for you and hunger for your Word. Through your Word, by your Holy Spirit, conform us and transform us to your will. Teach us in your Word to abandon our thoughts for your thoughts, our ways for your ways. As we read, grant us your mind in all things. Grant us your heart for all people, including ourselves. May your Word bring life to us until we reflect the Word of God in all that we do and in all that we are. For your Glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Peace to you.
Pastor Brian Torres