But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” (Luke 4:4)
Living By The Word
The devil began his attack on Jesus in the same way he attacked Eve in the garden. When the serpent spoke to the woman, he questioned whether the word of God was true. Satan knew if he could convince Eve to doubt the word of God, he would secure her heart to follow his deception rather than trust in the will of the Lord. The instructions to Adam and Eve were simple. They could eat of every tree of the garden, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden. Eve understood the word of the Lord, going so far as to emphasize they should not touch the fruit. Sin came when the word of God was ignored, and life changed forever. As many thousands of years since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, one thing has never changed: the devil uses the same ploy to destroy souls as he has for millennia.
God has always given humanity His word to live by, obey, and subject their lives to His will. Life comes from the word of God. The word of God created the world, it is held together by the word of God, and one day the world will dissolve with fervent heat by the same word. God spoke His word through the patriarchs, and men like Abraham believed unto righteousness and obeyed His word. When Israel was separated as God’s own special people, He gave them a law written down in the code of the Law of Moses. Jesus came into the world as the word and the only way to the Father. The words that Jesus spoke were the words of His Father. Through the teaching of the word of God, the New Testament church was established, propagated, and confirmed throughout the ages as the divine pattern of God’s will. The Holy Spirit canonized the Bible to afford humanity every word of God so that all men could come to the only truth and know how to find redemption before a wrathful Lord. From the writings of Moses to the final message of the Revelation, the mind of God is revealed for all mankind to read and understand the mystery hidden before time but now revealed. The word of God is the spiritual manna of the Father that gives life to all who spend time in His word.
Jesus defeated Satan by reminding the adversary that man does not live by the things of this world. Salvation can only come when a man lives by the word of God. Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy where Moses reminds the new generation preparing to enter Canaan that obedience to the word of God will give life. Throughout the forty years of wandering, the Hebrews learned to trust in the Lord and live by His word. God told them to be careful to observe all the commandments, and they would be blessed. He allowed them to be hungry but gave them the manna so they would not die. In a spiritual parable, Jesus shows the hunger of man can only be supplied with the manna of God’s word. Life is found in the manna. It comes from God and is all that is needed to sustain life. Like the manna of old, the manner of gathering the manna and consuming the manna was paramount to life. So it is with the word of God.
Life comes from nourishment. No greater sustenance can a man find than the word of God that tells him everything he needs to know to live. This is the way a man will live by the word of God. Jesus reminded the devil to live by the desires of the world will only bring death. Life is found in living by the word of God. Only through the mind of God will a man know how to live and walk in the dark world of sin. Bread is necessary, but there is more to life than bread. A man can live all his life eating bread and die. If he has not been seeking the living word of God, his life is useless and without merit. The figure of bread is the essential part of life that consumes the soul. Often, more time is spent preparing and eating the manna with no time spent in consuming the word of God. Eternal life is not found in the bread. It is found in the word of God. Living for the word of God is seeking those things that are above. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled, they will never thirst, and they will find eternal life.
The answer of Jesus to the devil is the answer of where I find myself. Am I living from the word of God or seeking the bread of the world? Too often, souls are busy seeking the carnal pursuits of the world with no interest in the word of God. The Bible is the manna of God to a world starving from nourishment. Abiding in the manna of God’s word will bring life and give joy. Living by the word of God is an active and daily walk. The body requires nourishment every day of the week. If some people fed their bodies as much nourishment they feed their spiritual bodies, they would have died long ago. Grab a chair and have a seat at the table of the Lord. Prepare a feast of the word of God and live by every word. It is then – and only then – you will find life.