Monday, July 23
Out of work.
Loss of insurance.
Things are drying up all around. Feels like the hot sands of the Sahara sometimes, doesn’t it?
What drives you into the desert? What vehicle takes you for a spin to the backside of the wilderness? No, I don’t mean an SUV, bus, or pickup truck. Circumstances, doubts, fears, and disobedience drive us there. However, some of us use a dump truck!
Moses sinned by killing an Egyptian and fear of death drove him to the wilderness. And for forty years, Moses “kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian.” One day, “he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” (Ex. 3:1 KJV)
Let’s look at that for a moment.
Kept in Hebrew means to shepherd, to tend a flock or pasture it, to graze, to rule, to associate with (as a friend), to be companions, or to be a special friend.
The meaning of led is to drive forth (a person, an animal, or chariot), lead, carry away, proceed, and so on.
The word wilderness means a pasture, open field, desert, uninhabited land, mouth, and speech. Its root word means to arrange, to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, sing, talk, teach, tell, utter, etc.
Mount Horeb is in the Sinai Peninsula. In Hebrew, Horeb means a dry, wasted, and desolate land. So, why did Moses take the flock there to pasture them? And if kept means to graze, then there must have been fodder for the flock to feed on.
We know for sure there was a little growth…a bush.
While Moses was there, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in that bush appearing to be on fire. Moses purposely drew near the flare of this non-burning bush. After calling Moses by name, God spoke to him.
Hmmm…in the wilderness, a dry place where God communes. There, God told Moses His plan for him and encouraged him, “I will certainly be with you.” (Ex. 3:12 TLB)
Years later, Moses, speaking of Jacob, said God “found him [Jacob] in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut. 32:10 NKJV)
God met Jacob in the wilderness, encircled him, guarding him from danger, taught him, and watched over him as the little man (reflection) of His eye. And He will do the same for each one of us when we are in our own wilderness, whether self-imposed or otherwise.
* Have your circumstances created your own private wilderness?
* Have you run to the wilderness to escape the consequences of something you’ve done?
* Have you been wondering around in it so long that fatigue and thirst have set in?
* How long has it been? Two weeks, two months, two years? Or maybe it’s been twenty or even forty years like Moses?
* While in that barren place, do you hear the Lord?
* Do you listen to His plan and purpose for your life?
There is a bush burning in the midst of your situation. God’s presence burns to commune with you. Purposely turn aside from your distress and draw near to the Lord. Tune out the frazzled racket of the world to hear those sweet whispers of heaven.
Hidden in that wilderness are the words of comfort you so long to hear. God will give you springs of living water for which you have long been thirsty. He “will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is. 43:19 NKJV)
He will encircle you with His love, guard you with His strong arms, teach you, and keep His watchful eye on you, never letting you out of His sight.
That living hope He imparts is greater than your circumstances, greater than your depression, greater than your grief, greater than your debt, greater than your yourself.
The Lord is with you, no matter how dark or how dry your situation becomes.
If you are suffering from wilderness fatigue, I pray you find that peaceful, resting place of encouragement and thirst-quenching in the midst of your circumstances. May you know God’s encircling, His protection, His teaching, and His watchful eye upon you.
Today, I am hooking up with...