Bible Reference: Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Bible Text: 2 And you must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna—something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors had never seen. Why did the Lord do this? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says.
OBSERVATION: I’m sure that the Israelites must have thought, and no doubt complained about the necessity for discipline by God, if He (supposedly) loved them so much. Isn’t it interesting that we still hear that happening today? let’s meditate on this today and consider the qualities we have gained because of discipline.
APPLICATION: Surely you’re no different to me, in that you hated to hear your mom and/or dad say how it pained them to discipline you! For we always thought ‘then why do it?’!! As adults we now know that to discipline shows love, caring and concern for the individual you are disciplining. The easy thing to do, is to ignore the issue and hope that things will get better. But to care enough about the individual to correct them and possibly discipline them, shows that you love them enough to want them to succeed in life, and to be the best individual they could possibly be. When disciplined at home, it becomes easier for our children to respect and understand the need for discipline by an employer. None of us like to be disciplined, but let’s look at why God thought it was necessary for the Israelites. As His chosen people, God couldn’t stand it that they were being mistreated in Egypt, so in cooperation with their leaders, God decided to get them out of there and into a very chosen place that He had prepared for them. Because of their ungratefulness and disrespect during their journey, God disciplined His children in a few serious ways – food, water, obstacles in the path they traveled, etc. And time and time again, God showed love and deliverance for His people. In our verses today, the Israelites are being reminded of what they should have gained from those challenging times of discipline. And I believe that God wants to use these words to remind us of the same thing today. Like the Israelites, we are a spoiled and rotten people. We want, we want, and we want, but oh how seldom do we ever stop to recognize all that God has provided, and how He has taught us along this path called ‘life’. Do we have time to visit the sick or help the poor, or are we too busy tending shop? In other words, are we so caught up in the many material things of life, that we have no time, love, or respect for God, to seek out the needs of others? God disciplined the Israelites because He wanted them to know that there were more important things in life than their stomachs, their material things, and their selfish desires. He wanted them to see, and I believe that He wants us to also learn, that it is the very words of God that teaches us about LIFE, and not at all about what we have, what we see, or what we want. So what’s important in this life to you my friend? Would it require a good dose of discipline by the Almighty God to help us refocus on the really important things in this life? Why not stop, listen and obey today, for there’s no other way, but to trust in our Lord, and obey His commands!
PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for the many gifts that You shower on us each and every day. Thank You for those times that You stop us in our tracks and, through loving discipline, You redirect us to the things of Christ. May we have that same kind of love for our brethren, for there are so many in need all around us today. We are often so caught up in protecting all that we have gained, that often we lose track of praise, honor and glory that is so deserving of the One who has blessed us. Thank You dear Lord. Please touch our hearts today. Draw us close to You and help us to use all that You have blessed us with, to bless others in return.. AMEN!