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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. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

The Hebrew word translated as “hunger” is the same word used for “famine.” Obviously, being hungry and suffering through famine can be two different scenarios but the point seems to be that He allowed them to experience the pain of hunger. Apparently, a rumbling belly was to provoke humility and to teach that God’s Word is far more beneficial than physical bread could ever be. That being said, He gave them bread to eat. He allowed them to hunger so that He could feed them, and in feeding them, He taught them about the bread they needed most – the Word of God. We might say then, that famine for bread is to remind us of spiritual neglect and what is most important in life.

Recall that, it was not until the Prodigal experienced the pain that comes with famine that he came to his senses. It was only then that he recognized the depth of his fall and the consequences of his flawed perspective — he was reduced to desiring food fed to pigs. It was also then that he realized what life could be in his father’s house, if only as a servant. It was there in a pig sty that he determined to return to his father and repent of all that he had done. His father, as related to us by Messiah, graciously received his son back into this house with as much joy as if his dead son had been raised from death. The point I wish to emphasize here is that hunger (famine) caused the needy to realize what they truly needed.

Just as Paul had to be blinded in order to see, sometimes we have to experience hunger in order to appreciate what God feeds us. Mind you, it might not be what we expected; it might look different than anything we or our forebears are familiar with. However, when God fills our empty spots, it will be just what we need. The fulness of this is realized in the Messiah who, born in Bethlehem (“house of bread”), said to us: “I am the bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:41). Though He allows us to hunger at times, He will always make sure we are fed us with bread that will, not only revive us, but sustain us through every hardship that comes our way.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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