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What are you fixing for dinner?

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Today’s bible study is Deuteronomy 8:3: He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

We are probably all familiar with the bible story of making manna. None of us is sure how it was accomplished or exactly what manna is, yet it served to slake the hunger of many and was performed as a miracle at a time of suffering, hunger and need. The words, “God made manna in the wilderness….and that was a miracle too,” are familiar words from a well-known song that many of us first sung at summer camp or vacation bible school.

But, to truly add meaning to this verse, it is important to put it into historical context and then see how we can apply it to our lives today. Deuteronomy is generally understood to be a record of Moses’ words of explanation concerning the law. While the Greek, Latin and Hebrew roots differ, Moses has traditionally been recognized as the author of Deuteronomy, since the book itself testifies that Moses wrote it in several verses. While Deuteronomy was added after Moses’ death, the book came from Moses’ hand shortly before his death in 1405 BC.

Deuteronomy does not advance historically. But takes place entirely in one location over about one month of time. Israel was camped in the central rift valley east of the Jordan River. The Book of Deuteronomy concentrates on events that took place in the final weeks of Moses’ life in this location.

Israel’s food in the wilderness was decreed by the Word of God. They had manna because it came by God’s command; therefore, it ultimately was not bread that kept them alive, but God’s Word.

This is difficult, since we all think of food as being something tangible – something that we can see and touch and place in our mouths and swallow. This is what we all know. Buy is manna a tangible food? Is it something that we can chew and swallow? Is it something that our bodies will draw nourishment from? These are somewhat uncertain. Yet, they is no doubt at all that manna will nourish us with the Word of God and will enable us to live in his word and in his way. Our bodies may hunger, yet our spirits will be filled with the gift of manna sent to us from our Father in heaven.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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