Sunday, September 14, 2014

Deuteronomy 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is Deuteronomy 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • "These forty years" (verse 2) - The Israelites had been led out of slavery forty years ago and had been wandering in the desert for forty years because of their disobedience, with God waiting for them to be ready to enter into the land of promise.
  • "Manna" (verse 3) - God had provided miraculous food from Heaven called manna, a kind of  bread like substance. He also provided for them (verse 4) by making sure their clothes did not wear out in those forty years, and by miraculously providing water out of a rock (see verse 15).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Throughout this chapter we see Moses encouraging the people to not forget God. That may sound silly, but the truth is forgetting God is one of the most natural things humans do. When you eat, do you think about the God who has provided for you, or do you just take your food for granted? When you are successful (like in work, or school), do you thank God, or do you think, "My power and the strength of my hands" (verse 14) have accomplished this? We should live our lives in humble gratitude towards God, but it's very easy to live with a prideful reliance on self.
  • We read in verse 3, "man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." People tend to feel like the object of life is to satisfy our appetites. This verse mentions our appetite for food, but we also have appetites for sex, success, approval, etc. We believe our lives will be good if we satisfy these appetites. But the truth is we hunger for something much deeper and more important, and it's God. And we can satisfy every other longing, but if we don't have God, still feel empty inside. We need to seek our satisfaction in God and His Word, and a relationship with His Son Jesus, who called Himself the "bread of life" (John 6:35).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • It's so easy to focus on getting things like food, sex, success, popularity (instead of seeking God) and to take credit when we get the things we want (instead of thanking God). How do you see this in your life? And how can you move towards a God focused life? What might help you to make seeking God your number one priority? And what might help you to remember to acknowledge and thank God for the good things you do have? Are there some habits you can build into your life? Are there some physical reminders you could set up for yourself? Are there some people who can help you with this?