Read verses 1-5
Q: This is NOT a trick question: What is the biblical meaning of the phrase “that you may live”?
A: Biblically speaking, those who reject God are judged by Him as already “dead”, in that their life is inevitably leading to the second death of eternity; those who accept and follow Him are judged “alive” because their choices are leading to eternal life.
Q: What is significant in the designation that it is “ALL” the commandments—all of God’s Law—that we must “be careful to do”?
A: We can’t pick and choose but must be obedient to every commandment equally. Just because we don’t murder, for instance, does not make up for treating a parent poorly.
Point: God’s Word is a COMPLETE guide for life whose every instruction must be put into practice fully.
Q: According to v.2, what are the purposes of God’s testing?
- “that He might humble you” That is, to purge pride, the root of all sin.
- “to know…whether you would keep His commandments or not”. To develop obedience as one’s first and most natural reaction, to shape the heart.
Application: If you were to follow ALL of God’s commands, how do you think you’d do in times of testing by God? Is it possible that pride still has a foothold and your heart is not entirely in the right place because of not obeying God’s Word in some way?
Q: What is the deeper teaching provided in the revelation in v.3 that “He humbled you and let you be hungry”?
A: God uses difficult circumstances to change us. He will allow temporary, earthly hardship in order to build eternal, spiritual character by ridding us of our dependence on earthly things.
Q: What do food and clothing represent as presented in v.3-4?
A: They represent the necessities of life, the things we absolutely need.
Q: But what is the greater lesson God teaches when it comes to the necessities of life?
A: We have a greater need to be properly fed and clothed spiritually. He may need to teach us not to desire such things in excess according to our earthly desires, but to allow them to be provided according to His greater plan and desire.
Point: Throughout Scripture, eating is associated closely with consuming God’s Word, a teaching that just as physical food is an absolute requirement to sustain physical life, spiritual food is so required. God’s Word comprises all of the basic necessities of life—both for this life and the one to come.
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
— John 6:48-51