SOAP Journal – 08 May 2017 (Deuteronomy 8:3)

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.

Deuteronomy 8:3

Moses is still not past the point where he is reminding the Israelites of all the things that God has already done for them. And I cannot find fault. Moses has 40 years’ worth of God’s work in lives of and on behalf of the Israelites of which to remind them. Such a thing is likely to take a while. I have not yet lived 40 years and recounting all of the things that God has done just for me, let alone for my family and friends, could fill pages.

This verse also happens to be the one quoted by Jesus when He was tempted in the wilderness. Satan tells Jesus that He (Jesus) should turn stones to bread to ease His (Jesus’) hunger. Jesus quotes back that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Knowing what precedes that part of the statement — He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know — adds a whole new dimension to Jesus using this verse as His reply. He knew that the Father let [Him] be hungry and that His (Jesus’) hunger would be taken care of by that same Father.

In both instances, there is a single message: Where God has led me, God will sustain me. God is not surprised by my circumstances or wringing His hands over how to meet my needs. He, Good Shepherd that He is, has already walked this ground and prepared places for me to eat my fill — spiritually and physically — and places for me to slake my thirst — again, spiritually and physically — and places for me to lie down and rest in safety.

I had lost sight of this truth. It is not that I never knew it, but that my focus wavered and my gaze wandered. I looked around at the wilderness instead of seeing the manna right in front of me. I saw the desert and ignored the water pouring from the Stone. I saw and was distracted by the obvious lack and thereby overlooked the equally obvious provision.

Sometimes, God is going to let me suffer lack. It may be food or drink or any of a number of things. The purpose of the lack is not to deprive me, but that He might be my supply and that He might make [me] understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.

Father, please forgive me for looking at my lack instead of Your abundance. I am wrong when I focus on those things instead of Your provision. Thank You for providing for me every good and necessary thing and some things that are not necessary. Please teach me to keep my eyes focused on Your provision and sustaining and not on the things I think I am lacking.

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