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Sermon Message


"Lessons from Lean Times"

Deuteronomy 8:1-6
Theme: God sometimes brings His people through lean times in order to teach them to trust and obey Him.

(Delivered Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Bethany Bible Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version; copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

Note: Due to our church's involvement in the Luis Palau Portland CityFest festival, full sermon notes are not available.

These words were spoken to the second generation of Israelites. They were the ones who suffered because of the disobedience of the first generation. And now, as they are about to enter the promised land, God calls them to review the things that they suffered! In doing this, He lets them know that it was a time of testing from Him.

1 Corinthians 10:1-12 lets us know that the experience of that first generation is something that we're to learn from as well. Here, God lets us know that He sometimes brings His people through times of trial and need in order to teach them to trust and obey Him.

First note . . .


A. He led them through the wilderness for forty years. (Just think of what a group of people that first generation must have been!)

B. He humbled them (because they were a proud and stiff-necked people; see 10:16).

C. He allowed them to be hungry.

D. He fed them "manna" for forty years (which means "What is it?"; Ex. 16:15, 31). It was a food that they didn't know, nor did their father's know.

E. He made them wear the same clothes for forty years. They had to wear their parents old clothes!!

F. He made them walk around in circles for forty years in an area that was only 11 days in length (Deut. 1:2).

This was not an accident. God Himself says that this was His doing. But note next . . .


A. It was to humble them (because He was about to bring them into great blessing; see 8:11-18).

B. It was to test them (to see if they would keep God's commandments or not).

C. It was to teach them (that they don't live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God). Note in this that, through out the time, God provided food in the desert, clothes that didn't wear out, and feet that didn't swell.

And so, notice because of all this . . .


A. They were to know how much God loved them (enough to chasten them as a father chastens his son; see Hebrews 12:5-11).

B. They were to carefully keep His commandments (to do them), and walk in His ways.

C. They were to fear Him (that is, reverentially respect Him).

* * * * * * * * * *

Our Lord's example; Matthew 4:1-4, 11

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