All our readings today are memorable ones; they challenge our contemplation! The words, “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” should be familiar to us as words Jesus uttered when faced by the tempter in the wilderness. Jesus was quoting from today’s Deuteronomy reading, they are part of Moses last message, his exhortation, to (us) his people before he dies!
Moses tells them, “you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years.” Do we remember how he has led us through the wilderness of this world – it’s wild godlessness? Part of God’s leading in the wilderness was to provide them with manna. But we are surviving and coming through our wilderness because of the “word of God” – not because of the manna – yet only those who fed on the manna every day were still alive to know this. And so it will be for us.
Moses reminds those about to enter the promised land of how God supplied “water out of flinty rock” and “fed you in the wilderness with manna … that he might humble you and test you to do you good in the end” [8 v.15,16]. The testing was “to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not” [v.2]. It is a valuable study to look at the way the words ‘try’ and ‘test’ and ‘prove’ are used in the Bible; by our actions we show what is in our heart.
There is a ‘punch line’ in the next chapter (9) “know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people” [v.6] “it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you” [v.4].
In the New Testament we are told time after time that it is because of our faith, not because of anything we do, that God will bring us into his kingdom! But remember how James wrote saying, we show the reality our faith by what we say and do, read James 2 v.22-24.
Let us all remember how the LORD has led us in our lives up until today and – what has been revealed to him on that journey, so as “to know what is in your heart”? Moses exhortation is certainly for us too!
By Bro D.Caudery
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