During my three years of Bible school, I was saturated with the Word of God. Papers, tests, and assignments kept me delving into the Scriptures. God’s words were soaking into my every being. Slowly I was becoming dependent.
Yet I didn’t realize it until spring break of 2005.
The ensemble group I was a member of toured for a week from church to church. We would sing once or twice a day, sleeping in the houses of the church members as we traveled. In the busyness of it all, I neglected to read. I had reasons: car sickness in the van, exhaustion, and the obligation to talk with the Christians we met on the way.
One afternoon, again in the van for another long stretch of highway, my spiritual stomach began to growl. I knew intellectually that the Bible was our food. Jesus had compared the manna God had provided to the Israelites in the wilderness to his very words. They’d eaten the manna, but were very shortly, hungry again. But Jesus offered Living Bread that would forever quench their hunger.
In that moment, I understood. I suffered through the next performance anticipating getting away somehow from the crowds and the noise, and settle down with my Bible, and partake in a satisfying meal.
Every person is hungry but few find satisfaction. For some, they have no access to the God’s words of life. But many simply refuse to read. Bibles pile up on their shelves but their pages never see the light of day.
The Jews were condemned in Romans 2-3. Paul explains they are without excuse because they’ve been given every advantage. They had the precious privilege of receiving and being entrusted with the oracles of God. God spoke to them and yet they continued to ignore. They turned a deaf ear to the resonating thunder of the Lord’s voice. God was long-suffering but eventually had had enough.
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land-
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”
Discontentment and dissatisfaction plague our world in ways natural famines have not. Mainly, because it goes undetected. All people hunger for something, they just can’t find what fills that void that haunts their every day. And as we search in other places, and rely on other things to satisfy, we are creating our own famine. The place that lacks the words of God is a dry and weary land.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”
Jesus plainly said that if we want happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment, it can only be found in him. Jesus is the answer to our longings. And his Word is where he is revealed. We need food and water to survive but God has called us to a life of abundance, not one of survival. And it requires God’s words.
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Is your life satisfying? Truly satisfying? Can you look at where you are and what you are doing and say, “I’m happy. All is well.” If our satisfaction or happiness is resting in people, places, or things, what if they were taken away? Would you still be happy? Would you still have confidence that life is good?
Jesus is the only faithful One. He alone never changes. And if our happiness is founded in him and his words, no matter what life becomes, our contentment remains. We are unshakeable because the Rock we built our life upon never moves.
Let every one of us seek Christ alone until we can honestly repeat the words of Job:
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.