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Man does not Live by Bread Alone

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2008

As I have been researching for “Living in the Overflow of God’s Abundance” by progressing through the bible from cover the cover, I have come across a wonderful Word from the Lord:


Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live

Deuteronomy 8:3


You would probably be familiar with this Word, as Jesus quoted this Old Testament Scripture when resisting the temptation of the Devil:


It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4


It is written, “That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.”  

Luke 4:4


When we study the context and setting of an Old Testament Scripture, quoted in the New Testament, we can sometimes gain a richer and deeper understanding. This is the case with this particular Scripture.


Moses had gathered all Israel together, reminding them how the Lord appeared to them on the mount, out of the midst of the fire, and giving the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:1-22). Moses then encourages them to walk with the Lord and obey His commands, that they may experience His blessing of prosperity and healing, dispossessing the evil nations who were the current inhabitants of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 6-7). Moses then reminds Israel:


Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee this forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or not. 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. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years

Deuteronomy 8:1-4


Can you see the magnitude of this miracle? For forty years the Lord supernaturally sustained the many hundreds of thousands of people of Israel in the wilderness. God literally rained down food from heaven every day to sustain his people! The Lord didn’t just feed them but also kept them healthy and prosperous (their feet did not swell and their clothes did not wear out). It is from this amazing context of God’s supernatural provision to those who walk with and follow Him, that He declares, “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” God is strongly emphasising this truth. Notice he says, “That He might make thee know”. This was so important to God that He forced the point! Through their experience God made them to know and understand. God proved beyond any doubt that He is our physical provider. God’s wants us to know without reservation that His Word will sustain us physically. If we will walk according to His Word and Spirit we are guaranteed to live. This is liberating, as we no longer need to fear poverty, lack, and hunger. God is interested and involved in our finances.


Israel had a promised land to conquer. They needed to know that as they obeyed the voice of the Lord they would live. God made them to know that He would sustain their lives as they obeyed His voice. We need to be reminded of this today. As we go forth and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, laying hold of our covenant promises, and bringing the captives out of darkness, we need to know we shall live. This is also God’s supernatural promise to us today.


Jesus reinforced this truth by saying food and clothes will be added to us, as we seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). We seek first the kingdom of God by planting and watering God’s Word in our heart (Mark 4:14, 26). The Lord has provided financial freedom for any person who has the courage to throw themselves wholeheartedly upon His Word, and earnestly follow His Spirit. We do not have to fear lack, poverty, and want. The Lord will honour His Word. God’s power will sustain us as we exercise faith in His Word. Hallelujah!


Sometimes I feel like I can identify with Israel, travelling these past 8 years, being dependent upon the Lord for all things. But it is actually a great place to be. I am thankful for the journey of having to trust in the Lord. It has forced me not to be complacent, nor to allow my heart to grow cold concerning His promises.


If you find yourself in a difficult position right now, where in your own strength you are out of your depth, take courage and be confident! Whether you are there by your own error, or by the divine leading of the Lord, your situation is not too difficult for the Lord. God’s Word will uphold and sustain you supernaturally for another 40 years if necessary. Believe the Lord right now. Say with me:


“Lord I love you. I choose to walk in the light of your Word. Thank you that Jesus’ blood cleanses me from all sin (1 John 1:7). Thank you, that you are my righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). Thank you that I am sustained by your Word. Your Word provides me food, clothes, and health. I live by your Word. I rejoice in your supernatural provision. I will continue to trust in, and walk with you, in Jesus name, Amen.”


Be richly blessed, I love you,


The Vision

Andrew Shreeve Ministries is led by the Holy Spirit, committed to the integrity of the Word of God, walking by faith and focused on preaching the gospel to all nations...