Southern Baptist Convention

And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live (Deut. 8:3).

When the Lord first provided manna for the Israelites, they were amazed. They had never seen anything like it before! This manna truly became the "bread of life" for the weary travelers, sustaining them throughout the 40 long years they traversed the wilderness. Unlike more traditional food sources, however, the nature of the manna made it clear that God was in charge, and that He was the one that was responsible for their survival. At the behest of God it appeared 6 days a week and was to be gathered fresh each day; only on the day before the Sabbath could it be saved overnight without spoiling (Ex. 16:4-27). It was impossible to "stock-up" or "get ahead." God provided only what each family needed, no more and no less. There was nothing that the individual Israelite could do to increase his share; in fact, there wasn't even a way to ensure that they would receive the next day's allotment. All they could do was trust in the promise of God.

In this manner, God fed their souls at the same time He was feeding their bodies. The manna was given daily, but the only guarantee they had that it would appear the next day was the Word of God. The Israelites had two choices. They could worry and struggle in a futile effort to control the uncontrollable, or they could, through faith, confidently place their lives in God's hands. We know, from our readings, that the Israelites continued to struggle with this concept of surrendering to God. Over the course of their 40-year journey many died, not from lack of food, but from lack of faith.

Simple faith is as hard for us to grasp today as it was in the time of Israel's exile in the wilderness. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). We live under the same promise as the Israelites. Trust in God, follow Him, live by His Word, and our needs will be met. He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger. Just as the Israelites suffered, we too will face times of uncertainty. We may be hungry, scared, penniless, tired or sick. In many of these situations we will also be powerless, just like the Israelites in the wilderness. Yet God has promised us that, as long as we trust in Him, our needs will be met. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things (Matt. 6: 31-32). In His time, in His way, in His will, by His Word, He will provide.

When faced with adversity, we should rejoice rather than complain! And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (II Cor. 12:9). Every setback we face allows us the unique opportunity to see our God in action.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all (Ps. 34:19).

Thought for Today:

The person who has a fear of God will have a wisdom that far exceeds anything this world has to offer (Ps. 111:10).

Christ Revealed:

Through the shittim (acacia wood) used to make the Ark of the Covenant (Deut. 10:3). Acacia wood, a desert growth, is symbolic of Christ in His human form. When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law (Gal. 4:4).

Word Studies:

8:2 prove = test; 8:12 full = satisfied; 8:14 thine heart be lifted = you become proud; 8:18 establish His covenant = confirm His agreement with His qualifications; 9:1 fenced = walled; 9:5 perform the word = accomplish His promise; 9:6 stiffnecked = stubborn; 9:26 a mighty hand = strength; 10:6 stead = place; 10:8 separated = set apart; 10:15 seed = descendants.

Prayer Needs:

Pray For Staff: Becca Lucio • Government Officials: Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ), Sen. James Larkin (OK) • Country: Swaziland (1,419,623) Southern Africa • Major Languages: English, siSwati • Religious Freedom • 40% Zionist; 20% Roman Catholic; 10% Muslim; 30% Other (Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish) • Prayer Suggestion: Unite with others in prayer; God will bring your request to pass (Matt. 18:19-20).

Memory Verse:

Romans 12: 15 - 21

Romans 12: 15

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Romans 12:16

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Romans 12:17

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Romans 12:18

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:19

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Romans 12:20

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Romans 12:21

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries