Chinua Achebe compares Okonkwo to nza the bird who after a heavy meal forgot himself and challenged his personal chi to a wrestling match. Okonkwo, like nza is reflective of the arrogance, selfishness and superiority complex that develops in those who do not “remember” how far they have come, where they come from and the one who caused them to come thus far.
“Remembering” is crucial for present decisions, which in turn helps to plan for a better future. No doubt that “Remembering” is a common theme in Deuteronomy, and its core content is summarized in these words,“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you”(Dt.32:7).
Our text of today states,“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what is in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna…to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”
Our ancestors and us may not have had the wilderness experience of the exodus. But we may have lived some kind of life threatening desert experiences. We may have despaired and thought of giving up because we thought God was not fair with us
Far from that, the years of wandering was God’s way of humbling and testing us to know what was in our hearts. From near starvation God still sustained us, just “to teach us that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
When the devil tempted Jesus asking him to turn stones into bread, Jesus quoted the above. Bread can temporarily quell hunger, but does not guarantee life. Life is God’s gift to those who trust in and live by his words.
The trials and difficulties of yesterday or may be today are God’s way of discipline so that we should depend totally on his providence. It is neither by our might or power, but simply as the Lord determines.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Bread of life who feeds us till we want no more.
Don’t forget to remember what the Lord has done. Maybe your own wilderness experience is yet to come. Even so, remember the exodus and learn lessons to cope in your own wilderness days.
Prayer of the week: Holy Spirit help me so that I do not to live by bread alone but on every word of the Lord. Amen!
Welcome back to a new working day and week! Have a blessed day and week! Peace be with you!
Rev. Babila Fochang.