And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know…
If this be true, what a strange comment on it is the world around us at this hour! Turn to what class of our countrymen you like, and in every variety of expression upon their countenance you will see written deep their conviction, in every changeful accent of their voices you will hear uttered their practical belief, that they can live by bread alone. It is for bread — using "bread" in the largest sense as meaning all material things — that men toil, and exhaust their finest energies. And as statesmen, and philosophers, and priests behold these things, each comes forward with his gospel for mankind.
I. First, we have the "GOSPEL OF EDUCATION." Let us take care that each child learns the elementary principles of knowledge, and we may hope that the coming generation shall have a higher idea of national and of social life. Well, certainly the very last persons in England to depreciate the blessings of secular instruction are the clergy. But let not educational enthusiasts think because they have provided partially against material deterioration that they have discovered a moral cure. It may change the form of crime; it will not touch the root from which it springs.
II. We have then from others the message of the PHILOSOPHERS. "Let us eat of this tree, and live forever." Now, while we gladly acknowledge all the past successes of science and of philosophy, and while we thankfully receive every new discovery as a further revelation of the wisdom and the love of the Creator, we say this is not the bread of life for sorrowing, sinning humanity. This is no gospel for all mankind. Clad in the purple of her pride, and the white linen of her fine-spun theories, philosophy's few cultured friends may fare sumptuously every day in her high hall of state; but humanity, like Lazarus, with hunger in its soul, and its body covered with festering sores of sin, lies helpless at her gate.
III. The more experience I have, the more deeply I am persuaded that the power to accomplish it is THE PREACHING OF A PERSONAL CRUCIFIED CHRIST. That — the incarnate Word of God — is still and ever the bread by which nations and men must live. It was not a new science, it was not an advanced thought, it was not an improved philosophy, it was not a merely exalted morality, it was not the idyllic life of a Galilean peasant, that men preached in the early days, in the purple dawn of Christianity, and by the preaching of it shook the Empire and revolutionised the world. And it is not by any such means, or by anything which appeals exclusively to the intellect; nay, not even by a vague "accommodating theology" with no doctrinal articulation — which, polype-like, floats on the tides of human thought, rising as they rise, falling as they fall — that men and nations can be saved now. It is as of old — by the preaching of the Word, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. "I am the Bread of Life," said Christ.
(T. T. Shore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
WEB: He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you didn't know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh does man live.