Wednesday, March 14, 2018-03-07 By Jeff Surber
Deuteronomy 8: 3: So he humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
Exodus 16: 21: So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
The race is not always to the swift. This is the moral of Aesop’s The Hare & the Tortoise. As you likely recall the hare raced out to a commanding lead only to rest and be overtaken by the steady pursuit of the tortoise. I’ve had seasons with God’s word where I’m like the tortoise, having daily nourishment from the word – like a man walking alongside a river, who can dip his hand in for refreshment as thirst approaches. And I’ve had seasons where I’m like the hare, reading large portions of scripture only to then go a period of time without being in the word – like a man wandering in a desert from well to well.
We visited a church in the suburbs last year and the pastor talked about hunger and how we can shape our tastes by what we feed ourselves. I had been in the poor habit of waking up to my alarm each day and checking the news and sports scores from the previous day. I had created a taste for news and sports that was being satisfied before my hunger for God’s word. In Exodus 16:21 we see that the Israelites were gathering manna every morning according to their need. This part of the story was familiar to me but the part I overlooked until recently was that the manna melted when the sun became hot. God our Provider, Jehovah Jireh, was faithful and able to meet their need, but there was action necessary on their part to receive His blessing; and it had to be one of the first things they did each day.
I prayed that God would feed my hunger for His word first thing in the morning and that he would help me to be spiritually disciplined until that hunger was cultivated. So I started waking up and seeking His word first and my hunger has grown. I’ve moved from the desert to the river and now I pray that the Lord would make me like the righteous soil – not allowing the cares of this world to choke out the hunger. That His word would be planted deep in my heart and that I would bear much fruit for his kingdom. Finishing the race is important but it matters how you run the race.
Matthew 5: 6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
John 17: 17: Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Father, help us to run well the race you’ve marked out before us. Help us to rise early and hunger for your word because you are faithful to satisfy that hunger. Help us to toss aside distractions, that we could be clear minded and pray. Help us to be consistent by renewing us each day. Thank you for sending the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ, that we may never go hungry, and thank you for being a father who knows how to give good gifts. Amen.