Then you shall eat and you shall be satisfied. Deuteronomy 6:11
Satisfied – 840 million people will not experience sava’ today. They woke up hungry. They will go to sleep hungry. You’re not one of them. You probably don’t even know a single one of these. 840 million people will not experience sava’ tomorrow either.
Most of us have no idea what it is like not to have enough to eat – for days on end. The world’s humanitarian concerns keep reminding us about our affluence. It’s easy to forget that millions of people are just surviving, and dying the slow death of starvation. We give when we see the faces of these pitiful ones. Actually, there’s plenty of food in the world to feed everyone. The problem is not quantity. It’s priorities. But you don’t have to be reminded about that.
When the Scripture uses the Hebrew word sava’, it is most often connected with food. God says something very, very important to the freed slave population of Israel. They are going to a land where they will eat and be full. For Israel, and for millions more, this will be a dream come true. The Bible never diminishes the importance of physical satisfaction. In fact, God designed us to be quite aware of our physical needs, and to desire them to be met. We are supposed to eat when we are hungry, drink when we are thirsty, sleep when we are tired. And we are supposed to remember that God is the One Who provides the means for satisfying all of these essential needs. It’s not the quantity that matters. It’s the priority.
What good would it do to serve a God Who couldn’t provide the most basic things in life? About as much good as it does to say we serve God, but promptly forget all about Him when we are full. The whole point of this verse is not simply to tell Israel that God is able to meet its need. It is to remind Israel to remember Who met the need after they have experienced sava’.
That’s the other big problem. The first problem is having enough. The second problem is forgetting after we have enough. The Bible uses the word sava’ on both occasions. It is quite possible to become sated and forget. Actually, we do it all the time.
It’s always interesting (even if it’s not theologically justified) to reflect on the fact that the Greek word for truth is literally “not forget” (a and letho). The truth is that I often forget. God is good to me. I accept His goodness. I am sated. And then I forget. I forget that I am not one of the 840 million. I forget that I am not ravaged by war. I forget that I live among the world’s wealthiest. I forget that I don’t have to carry identity papers and that armed men don’t show up at my door in the middle of the night and that I have a mattress to sleep on. Instead, I go on to the next unsatisfied need, wondering when God is going to take care of that too. There is hardly a more spoiled child in His kingdom. My gratitude lasts about as long as manna on a hot day.
“Father, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I forget so easily, that I let my next need crowd out your last provision. I’m sorry that I am petulant, arrogant and ungrateful. But most of all, I’m sorry that I didn’t wake up this morning immediately aware of Your grace. Forgive me. Let’s start again.”
Topical Index: Satisfied