Saturday 18th August 2020 18th Av 5780
By Bread Alone?
Moses reminded the children of Israel of their last forty years in the wilderness. Since leaving Egypt, God had provided their every need. Even their clothes and shoes miraculously survived the long sojourn. The LORD fed them manna from heaven, and this provision proceeded directly from the hand of God. Moses explained that God fed them manna to teach them “that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” A person might suppose that he subsists upon the material things necessary for sustaining human life such as food and water. A simple hand-to-mouth philosophy like that reduces human existence to mere striving for food, shelter, and clothing. Yeshua refuted that idea: “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25). He chided His disciples, “The Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; but your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:32). When a person fixes His attention only upon the material world, he expends all of his effort for material things. The miracle of the manna reminds us that the material world is not our source of life. Instead, God is our source of life. The material world came into existence from the utterance of His mouth. Therefore, we should seek to serve the Creator, not the creation. Yeshua says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The manna provided a daily reminder that God is the source of life, sustenance, and provision. Not part of the natural order, the manna was like a new creation that occurred every day—coming forth from the mouth of the LORD daily as He spoke it into being. All things have come forth from the mouth of God—spoken into being by His Word. Moses said, “Man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD,” reminding us that God created the whole world by the agency of speech. Through His divine Word, the physical universe continues to exist. The manna, which daily descended from heaven symbolizes God's divine Word (Memra/Logos) entering the world. This is why Yeshua referred to Himself as the bread from heaven in John 6. He is the Word of God (and the Word was God) made flesh:
Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world … I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. (John 6:32-35)
From a Messianic perspective, we may understand Deuteronomy 8:3 in reference to Yeshua, the bread from heaven, the divine Word that proceeds from the Father. We do not live by the sustenance of this world alone, but by Messiah, the bread of life.