Nothing speaks directly to me more than the way Deuteronomy 8 is laid out in truth and in the pursuit of following God. It is here that Jesus quoted from when He repelled the first temptation in the desert. It is His response then that has guided me my whole life.
It is this chapter that I can proudly proclaim that grace exists in the Old Testament – at least a form of it with boundaries and everything established.
“Whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or no.” Whether thou wouldest be brought to love Him with all thy heart, as thou art commanded; to serve Him with all thy strength; to make His will thy rule in all thy actions; to make His glory thy end, and not thy own honour, or interest, or pleasure. – J. Benson
The power of humility screams at me. It does not matter how heavy the trials and tribulations come – those trials have established a faith more precious than gold. It is found in the praise and honour and glory of Jesus.
Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that you’ll live and prosper and enter and own the land that God promised to your ancestors. Remember every road that God led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child. – Deuteronomy 8:1-5 MSG
I know that there are people we know that we would call good and honourable, of reputation – but they live by bread alone. I know people who live in a manner most honourable and some call themselves followers of Jesus, but they live by bread alone. A folly and a sin that separates from God. Somehow there has to be a light that turns on and warns that I have moved to honouring the creature above the Creator.
God has called me to lead in the midst of today and while I may not be fully mature in dignity, honour and manliness, in fact it may be latent right now, but when I find myself in Him, He has someone to use when He has need and my response will be – “here I am.”
Father, You could not have made it any clearer. You lead, I follow – passionately. What this world has to offer is only bread, You offer life. May I never be confused between the two as I journey with You. Amen.