God knows how forgetful we are and as a result constantly reminds of things we must remember. Moses gives clear direction about something the generation entering the land must recall about God’s dealings in their lives if they were to have success in the promised land. In Deuteronomy 8:2-3 it says,
“And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Why did God take the approximately 2,000,000 people into the wilderness?
- He did this to humble them. They were self-sufficient in Egypt. God brought them to a place which they were unable to meet their necessities for food and water.
- He did that to test them to see what was in their hearts. It is not that God did not already know what they were made of, but the wilderness experience allowed them to see how corrupt they were at their core.
- The specific test related to whether they would obey God in spite of their circumstances. He let them hunger and thirst.
- He did this to teach them an invaluable lesson. They had to learn that God was the author of all of their good. He was the one who would protect and provide for their every need. It was by his command that they were given manna and water from the rocks. They had to learn that obedience to God was the foundation of their existence.
Jack Deere summarizes this well when he says,
“God led them into the desert where they had no alternative but to trust Him or to murmur against Him. In the desert, they could not produce their own food but had to depend on God for food and thus for their very lives. When Moses reminded them that they did not live on bread alone he meant that even their food was decreed by the word of God. They had manna because it came by His command. It was therefore ultimately not bread that kept them alive but His word!”
This story makes me ask, “how am I doing in life?” “Does God have me at a place where I can choose to murmur against his leadership or obey him in spite of how I feel?” “Have I reached the place where I need to be, humble dependence upon God for everything?” “Am I trusting him with every detail of my life as I should?
Father, help me to remember to live a life of constant dependence upon you for all my needs. There are trials in life that cause me to question your ability to provide for me or provide for me in the way I want! Help me to instead of murmuring against you when this happens, trust you and live a life of obedience to you and your Word. For, “man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Following Jesus with you,