Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Can any scripture be over-emphasized?
Some of us say that the Word of God must be taken literally, yet we retain the ability to pick and choose where we want it to be figurative. Of course the context must also be taken into consideration. What was he saying? To Whom was he saying? Why was he saying?
The mature reader should know that the above text is taken from Matthew 4 which opens with Jesus being transported to the wilderness for a bout with the devil. The first thing the devil wants is for Jesus to do a miracle. "Turn these stones into bread." That was because Jesus was physically hungry. The devil always works with the physical needs that occupy the mind.
The answer that Jesus gave is the subject of this article. Man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Knowing what I know about the diet of people in other parts of the world and in other times of history, I can safely state that man cannot live by steak, potatoes and gravy alone. That puts the statement into my world to where I realize that physical food is not enough to sustain life. It is important for us to maintain our physical bodies with physical food, but it alone is not enough. The other is at least equal in the requirement of sustained life. We talk of three squares a day, while our Bible lies untouched Sunday to Sunday. Is that equality. What kind of spiritual diet are we on? Are we getting a well balanced diet? Are we skipping a meal now and then? Are we fasting from the Word of God?
I read an article the other day about a fellow that obviously was a fan of Jimmy Hendrix. He used the phrase, "I hung on every word of the lyrics of Hendrix's songs." I am not a fan of any entertainment guru so cannot relate to that, but I have connected an illustration to our appreciation of every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.
When I sit down to a meal I take what I want to eat if the meal is served family style. If a waitress brings me a plate, then I scoot the green stuff aside. In other words. I pick and choose. The detriment of that kind of food ingestion is that I am missing key ingredients that my body needs to survive healthy. The same is true with spiritual food. Every word that proceedeth, means that every word has a part to play in my spiritual growth and maturing. I need to make sure that I don't pick and choose from God's Word, nor should I let anyone else serve me what they think I need or want. As far as I am concerned, the NIV is a plate of parsley with no steak or potatoes either.
Preachers for the most part do not include enough of the proceeded Word of God in their messages for them to qualify as the necessary diet. Every believer must set time aside to read the proceeded word of God. Leviticus and Habakkuk are also as important as James and Philemon. (Mull that over for a while.)
Every word of God will have some part in our total make up spiritually. God tells us this.