Origin and Application:
The Israelites, under the leadership of Moses, spent forty years in the wilderness in search of the promised land after leaving Egypt. While in the wilderness, Israelites learnt to count on the supplies of God in order to survive the barren desert. For forty years, God rained down manna from heaven to feed their hunger. When they were thirsty, water flowed from hard rocks. It is during tough times like these they learnt to be faithful, that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
The same phrase is quoted by Jesus in the New Testament when he was resisting Satan’s temptation in the middle of a forty-day fast in the wilderness. Tempting Jesus to break his fast, Satan asked Jesus to turn stones into bread to prove that he is son of God (Matthew 4:4). But Jesus resisted, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone,” but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
What Jesus is telling us here is that man should look to God’s word rather than focusing on material things. Those who seek God first will eventually be provided with the basic necessities to carry us through.