We do not Live on Bread Alone
SCRIPTURE READING — DEUTERONOMY 8:1-10
“He humbled you . . . to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
During pregnancy, I often experienced quick shifts from feeling indifferent about food to feeling ravenously hungry. The child growing inside me and all of the changes taking place caused me to hunger.
In our Bible reading for today, though, it was God who caused the people to hunger. He brought them into a situation where they didn’t have enough to eat and they needed to depend on him. Only when his people were really hungry could they appreciate that God provided for them.
Sometimes God may allow us to experience a lack of something in order to humble and teach us to grow in faith too. Could it be that when there’s a profound need and a deep hunger, we need to realize that God is not abandoning us but preparing us for something greater, as when a woman is carrying a child?
It’s hard to be in a place of neediness, especially if there’s pain and discomfort involved. And it’s tempting to conclude that whatever isn’t going well should be fixed as soon as possible. But sometimes God leads us into situations to teach us to be utterly dependent on him—to show us that we don’t live on bread alone. God teaches us in order to show us that there’s more to our survival than merely having what we need. We need “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
God our Father, Help us to hunger for you, and feed us with your holy Word. Amen.
Light the Way
SEPTEMBER 12, 2022
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Every morning growing up, hours before most of my friends were awake, I was up learning math from my dad.
Since I was home-schooled until middle school, I would wake up before the sun, eyes still drowsy, and march downstairs to see a dim light stretching out from my dad’s office, where I would start my lesson for the day.
The soft glow from my dad’s office pierced the darkness and gave me enough light to see the stairs I walked down. And there, behind his desk, my dad would be reading his Bible — allowing the Light of the World to shine into his heart.
Today when I read our key verse, Psalm 119:105, I often think of those early-morning math lessons.
Many years after my middle-school days, my dad would end up leading an effort to found a world-class museum dedicated to the Bible, called Museum of the Bible, in Washington, D.C. When you walk into Museum of the Bible, one of the first things you see, etched in the marble pillar in the middle of the lobby, is the museum’s theme verse, which is also our key verse today: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
This verse is found in the middle of the longest chapter in the Bible. This majestic chapter celebrates the incredible gift that is the Scriptures. What we have in the Bible is a miracle the children of ancient Israel only saw in flashes during the Exodus or received from the prophets.
God has spoken to us, and we have His words preserved. And what are we to recognize His Word as? Light. But if I’m being honest, I don’t always see it.
The day-to-day busyness of parenting, marriage, cleaning the house, volunteering at church, working and trying to stay engaged in my friendships can feel like there is never enough time in the day to study and appreciate God’s Word or see its light for my path. Yet every time I prioritize the space for Scripture engagement, I find myself more refreshed and strengthened. What a gift, that God has given us His Word to light our paths!
Ultimately, the light of God’s Word makes Him known. John 1:4-5 says, “In him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (NIV). Jesus showed us what a life following God’s path looks like. Each step He took, every person He touched, every word He spoke, was filled with love and truth. Jesus’ words brought healing to the hurting and life to the broken. They also brought judgment on the wicked and rebuke to the religious.
It was because He claimed to be God that the religious leaders of the day killed Him. Jesus, the “light of the world by darkness slain,” as one hymn puts it, was murdered on a cross. At the moment of His death, it was noon, yet there was a blackness that covered the sky. Darkness seemed to have won. Yet the promise in John 1:4-5 was true. The light of Jesus shined into the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it.
What is darkness but the absence of light? You can’t spread darkness; you can only make things darker by hiding the light.
My dad’s passionate dedication to God’s Word has had an impact on me I will never forget. And it is my prayer now that, as I learn to take time to allow God’s Word to be a light to my feet, it will have an impact on my daughter as well.
The fatherhood of God
“Our Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 6:9
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 11:1-13
A child, even though he is erring, always expects his father will hear what he has to say. “Lord, if I call thee King thou wilt say, “Thou art a rebellious subject; get thee gone.” If I call thee Judge thou wilt say, “Be still, or out of thine own mouth will I condemn thee.” If I call thee Creator thou wilt say unto me, “It repenteth me that I made man upon the earth.” If I call thee my Preserver thou wilt say unto me, “I have preserved thee, but thou hast rebelled against me.” But if I call thee Father, all my sinfulness doth not invalidate my claim. If thou be my Father, then thou lovest me; if I be thy child, then thou wilt regard me, and poor though my language be, thou wilt not despise it.” If a child were called upon to speak in the presence of a number of persons, how very much alarmed he would be lest he should not use right language. I may sometimes feel concerned when I have to address a mighty audience, lest I should not select choice words, full well knowing that if I were to preach as I never shall, like the mightiest of orators, I should always have enough of carping critics to rail at me. But if I had my Father here, and if you could all stand in the relationship of father to me, I should not be very particular what language I used. When I talk to my Father I am not afraid he will misunderstand me; if I put my words a little out of place he understands my meaning somehow. When we are little children we only prattle; still our father understands us.
For meditation: The Father always heard the Lord Jesus Christ (John 11:41,42); by the working of the Holy Spirit he can understand us even when we cannot understand ourselves (Romans 8:26,27). Never be afraid to go to him in prayer because words fail you.
Fulfillment for the Empty Life
From: Intouch Ministries
Others are drawn to Christ when we live what we believe.
Anyone can experience feelings of emptiness, regardless of age, marital status, or socioeconomic background. And in an era of social media, emptiness is becoming more prevalent than ever. Despite our connecting with larger numbers of people, life can seem more meaningless than it did previously.
The Samaritan woman at the well symbolizes millions throughout history who have tried their best to satisfy a yearning for love and completion. But the sense of emptiness cannot be permanently satisfied until a person comes to Christ. We were created to honor and glorify Him, and no other pursuit can bring a sense of long-term pleasure and purpose.
When Jesus offered the Samaritan woman “living water” that would quench her thirst forever, it’s not surprising she wanted it (John 4:15). The salvation Christ offers includes more than the elimination of guilt. We also receive the riches of His love and a purpose that reaches into eternity.
If you’ve received Jesus as your Savior, you never have to feel empty again. His love surpasses all understanding, and as you grow in the knowledge of its vastness, you’ll be “filled to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).