Creation began in a formless and empty state, in a chaotic hodgepodge of elements. But every day the Word came and brought creation from glory to glory. Everyday its beauty and splendour increased. It was like a bride being prepared for a husband, becoming more glorious for the climatic wedding day. In the same way, the Word that comes morning by morning also brings us from glory to glory. More than the watchman waits for the rising sun we need to be watching and waiting for this Word. The Word is truly transformative.
“Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deu. 8:3, NASB). This was the second main lesson God was teaching the Israelites in the wilderness. He made them hungry and fed them with manna morning by morning to teach them that each day they needed to be fed on a miraculous Word given from heaven.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My Torah” (Exo. 16:4, italics mine). The first key to receiving this bread from heaven is beholding it. We need to see that each day God will give us this bread and that he will only give us enough for the day at hand. God’s compassion to us is new every morning, daily providing us his living Word (Lam. 3:22-23).
The Messiah himself lived as Israel was called to live, continually asking for the Father’s daily bread. His life teaches us what it means to be a true disciple:
“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient Nor did I turn my back. I gave my back to those who strike Me, and my cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting” (Isa. 50:4-6, NASB)
Are we truly awake if our ears have not been awakened? Daily we need God to open our ears; each day we are dependent on his mercy toward us. Are we open to God opening us? Are we willing to receive his Word even if it means our own outward demise? These are serious questions that we should wrestle with in light of the Scripture.
In the face of temptation, and in a time of great weakness, Jesus confronted the devil with “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4, cf. Luke 4:4). Satan wanted Jesus to look to natural means for strength, but the Messiah put the importance of spiritual bread ahead of physical bread. This is what God is trying to teach us in the wilderness. The wilderness is the place of the extraordinary power of God––if only we would behold and see. The desert teaches us that all power proceeds from God’s Word. The time of outward depravity is meant to give us a hunger and thirst for God’s Word, which in actuality is God himself given to us. Only in Jesus’ life are we to find fullness and satisfaction. He said, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35, NASB).
Prayer: Father, take me from glory to glory through your heavenly Word. Open my ears; let me hear your life-transforming voice. Give us this day our daily bread. Feed our spirits, Lord; feed us morning by morning.