I am one of those people who find hunger a bit of an urgent matter. Sure, it is not like I am going to die or anything, but when I am hungry, my body quickly begins to shut down. I get very weak and shaky, and even my brain gets slow.
Once I eat, it takes some time, but I usually can get back to a reasonably normal state. I have learned a “trick”, though: if I eat a full meal of nourishing food at regular times, I stay strong! How is that for a revelation?
Starvation is a big problem in the world today. Many people are hungering for just something to satisfy their physical body’s need for nourishment. But there is an even bigger problem than this–one with eternal implications–and that is spiritual starvation.
It may seem silly for me to try to go without food when I know the troubles it causes in my body; but how many times do we excuse starving ourselves spiritually?
Looking back over their wilderness journey, Moses told the Israelites, the Lord “humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know….” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Daily, the Israelites were to gather manna. If they kept it over until the next day (with the exception of food prepared for the Sabbath), it became unfit for food. You certainly would not be finding any Israelite seriously expecting to survive on leftovers from yesterday’s lunch!
Does that mean the manna was not a good food source? On the contrary! It was perfect, sweet nourishment directly from Heaven, specially prepared to supply their daily needs. Yet the fact remained that if any of it was kept over until the next day, it bred worms and stank. What was the problem?
Obviously, the Lord was caring for the Israelites’ physical needs; but there was more to it. He had a spiritual lesson to teach His people–including you and me.
Moses continued: He “fed thee with manna…that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”
Ah, so am I saying that it is not enough for us to go to church once a week and be spoon-fed a wonderful, nourishing spiritual feast? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying…but more than that.
It is not enough to have an inspirational, encouraging time of devotional prayer and Bible study one morning and not the next. It is not enough to pull out our Bibles when we think we have enough time or inclination to learn and grow. The Bible says that we live by every word that God speaks.
The alternative to living is not a pleasant one.
Just as physical hunger drives us to find something to eat, spiritual hunger urges us forward in our pursuit of righteousness.
Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Did you catch that? He, the Bread of Life, will fill us; and the only condition is that we hunger and thirst for His righteousness–to be near Him, to be like Him, to be one with Him.
Let us seek Him daily, and stop being satisfied with yesterday’s lunch!
***The Israelites’ experience with manna is just one of many living object lessons that God gave them on the way to the Promised Land and which children will explore in VBS–The Land of Milk & Honey. Be sure to check out these original, inspirational Vacation Bible School materials, available exclusively from Hasten Home!***