Man Shall Not Live on Bread Alone

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GENESIS 5:1-7:24 | MATTHEW 3:7-4:11 | PSALM 3:1-8 | PROVERBS 1:10-19

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Genesis 5 starts out with an account of the generations of Adam.  The longevity of the people in that day is nothing short of remarkable.  For the Bible trivia buffs:  Methuselah is the longest living person recorded at age 969, and Enoch is one of only two people who does not have a death recorded.  He “walked with God” is all we know about him.  I find that quite fascinating, and wish there was a longer account of this extraordinary person who did not ever experience death.

Such longevity, however, did not last too long, and it is soon recorded that God determined the average human life span to be 120 years.  That’s all we get, people!

Chapter 6 continues the account of this planet becoming populated, and the increasing wickedness in the world.  So much so, that God decided to fold up this little project called ‘Human Beings on Planet Earth’ and so, enter Noah and family!  As instructed by God, Noah builds an ark, gathers together his entire family, as well as one pair of each living creature, and enters the ark to watch the rains come down.  The rains do come, and when they do, they do not let up for 150 days.

Next, we continue in our reading in Matthew, and find that this chapter starts out with an account of John the Baptist telling it like it is to the Pharisees and Sadducees– the priests and other good folks– of the day.  Jesus comes to John to receive the baptism that John has been offering to all and sundry– a simple act of being immersed in the River Jordan to symbolize a repentance and turning of ways.  John rightfully recognizes that this is one person who is not in need of this ritual, and yet, Jesus insists on subjecting himself to this act as well.

This is God incarnate, and in his bodily form, he has taken every quality that makes one human, and in line with this, chooses to also engage in this very human act of seeking divine forgiveness and public repentance.  Upon Jesus’ insistence, John obliges, but this is certainly no ordinary baptism as John and everyone present there at the time of Jesus’ baptism soon finds out.  A supernatural act of the heavens opening up, and God’s voice stating that this is His son ought to have made a believer out of any one present there at the time!

The next account in the chapter continues with the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.  It is from this reply to Satan that I have chosen the name of this devotional, i.e., More Than Bread.  When Jesus is dared by Satan to just take the stone and turn them into bread, Jesus says, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ 

More than bread is what we need to survive.  We need the word of God.

Turning next to our reading of the Psalms, we find David stating with full confidence:

2 Many are saying of me,
   “God will not deliver him.”

3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
   my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

Finally, a few verses from the book of Proverbs, in which Solomon, the wise king of Israel, is offering this instruction, referring to evil ways that a young person is often enticed into.  He says:

15 my son, do not go along with them,
   do not set foot on their paths;

16 for their feet rush into evil,
   they are swift to shed blood.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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