Deuteronomy 8; Psalm 91; Isaiah 36: 2 Peter 3
Just in case I thought I was not as forgetful as the Israelites along comes Deut. 8. I love it when a very familiar verse pops it’s head out in a book that I never really look forward to reading. (Can I admit that there are some books of the Bible that I come to reluctantly?) “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” (Deut. 8:3b) This is familiar because Jesus quotes it when He was being tempted by the Devil, so why is it that I always seem to forget that it is present in this Old Testament chapter? It is like I discover it anew every year. And that my friends should be a lesson to me on how vitally important it is to read through God’s Word over and over again.
But back to this little gem of a verse…this was a lesson Israel was to learn from their wanderings in the wilderness, to put it in context: “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. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.” (Deut. 8:2-6) It is pretty easy to forget in the day to day how important God’s Word is for the believer-something we need just like the daily provision of manna the Israelites were given.
How interesting to next come to Psalm 91 as the previous reading brought to mind Jesus being tempted by the Devil-in the wilderness-after fasting for 40 days and nights…coincidence? In Psalm 91 are some of the words that the Devil used to tempt Jesus, “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.” (Ps. 91: 11-12, ESV and see also Matthew 4:1-11) But the words I cling to in Psalm 91 are these: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’” (psalm 91: 1-2) I don’t know about you, but this is manna my heart and my head need to hear today. When the tears are so near the surface I need to dwell in the shelter of my God-my refuge and fortress-the Lover of my soul when I feel so alone in the world. I am reminded of a little conversation I had many years ago with one of my preschool students. He and I were the last ones left at school and he revealed that he thought I lived at the school. I told him that I would be all alone if I lived there after everyone else had gone home. The heartfelt response of this little boy has always stayed with me, “But Miss Debra, you are never alone, Jesus is always with you!”
Grace, peace, and mercy,