Friday, August 23, 2013

Out of the Usual

So he humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you with unfamiliar manna. He did this to teach you that humankind cannot live by bread alone, but also by everything that comes from the LORD's mouth. (Deuteronomy 8:3 NET)

Out of the Usual
One of the most intriguing foods I have ever eaten while abroad was fried baby scorpions in China. Although I was not particularly interested in trying out unfamiliar or exotic foods because of a weak stomach, I ventured into taking up the challenge when I was served the much acclaimed delicacy. The fried scorpions turned out to be quite tasty—something special.

Like the many exotic foods we might have tasted while traveling abroad, there was a time when the children of Israel also had the opportunity to try out an unfamiliar food that was out of the usual—manna (Exodus 16:15, 31). God fed the children of Israel with bread from heaven so as to teach them that man does not live by bread alone but by everything that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).

When the tempter said to Jesus to command the stones to become bread so as to prove He was the Son of God, Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus told His disciples that His food is to do the will of the One who sent Him and to complete His work (John 4:34).

This was why Jesus taught that we should not work for food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life—the food which only He can give to us (John 6:27). The children of Israel ate the bread from heaven, but God the Father has given us the Bread of Life who came down from heaven that whoever comes to Him will never be hungry again (John 6:31-33, 35).

Are we hungry and needing food? Are we worried about our lives or the lives of our loved ones as to what we shall eat or drink, or about what we shall wear? Perhaps we are cash-strapped, facing financial crisis at this time or are not having enough to feed ourselves or our family. The Bible says, above all, pursue God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to us. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, therefore, let tomorrow worry about itself; for today has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:25, 33-34).

Life in the real world is not just about food and clothing or going exotic places and eating exotic foods. It is about putting our complete trust in God and staying true to fulfill His will above all else. Just as God provided manna for the children of Israel in their need and the Bread of Life to us so that we have eternal life, rest assured He will also provide for our daily needs (2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:19).

Dear Lord, we know Your grace is sufficient for us. Even when we have reached the end of the rope, we can and will put our complete trust in You. You O God are a compassionate God who cares for us more than we can ever understand. You will never leave us or forsake us but will bless us abundantly so that we have enough of everything in every way at all times overflowing in every good work. Thank You God for giving us the Bread of Life in whom we receive eternal life. Help us not worry about tomorrow but to stay assured You will provide for our daily needs as we seek first to do Your will.

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