When you’re at the mall, sometimes people will be out in the food court or at booths throughout the mall handing out free samples. Places like Costco are known for having samples available all throughout the store for customers to try—some people will go to these stores only because they know they will get samples for free. Free samples are there to give us a small taste of something even greater.
After the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years. During this time, God provided them with manna, which was a sweet bread-like substance that rained down from heaven every day. It was His provision to them, His free samples as they traveled to the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy 8:1-5—Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors.
Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you for your own good.
So obey the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
God doesn’t want haphazard, unstable relationships with His people. He knew that the people of Israel had just come out of bondage, and so they needed to build up their trust in Him. God always has a divine purpose in mind for whatever He does, and He wants to help us discover who He created us to be.
Don’t get caught up on what the provision is instead of what the provision is meant for. The Israelites fell for this—eventually, they started complaining about wanting something different to eat. But they missed the significance of the manna, which was a tool to get them to the land of abundance God had promised to them.
There is nothing lacking in the lives God calls us to live. Remember that whatever provision God has given to you is meant for something greater. He has a purpose in mind for your life and has given you the provision to accomplish it.
Watch the full teaching, It’s Just A Sample.