The Children of Israel had come to the end of 40 years in the wilderness, and they were assured that even in the wilderness wanderings, the Lord had cared for them
“Surely the LORD your God has blessed you in all your undertakings; he knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” Deuteronomy 2:7.
Sometimes today you and I also go through wilderness experiences. We feel all alone in our Christian walk, and the road is hard. Oftentimes the wilderness experience is our own doing. But there are lessons we can learn in the wilderness!
In the first place, there in the wilderness, they learned that God corrects His people!
This wandering was a punishment for their sin of unbelief. We usually see different sins as more dreadful than unbelief, and more worthy a cause for God’s anger. But “without faith it is impossible to please God! The Bible calls it “an evil heart of unbelief!” And it made the Lord angry. (See Hebrews 3).
Because of that unbelief, He wouldn’t let that generation see the Promised Land.
The next lesson they learned in the wilderness was that the Lord guides His people. He led them thru the wilderness. He didn’t take them the easy way. People ask me how they can be sure they are in God’s will. Don’t worry. He will let us know if we purposefully disobey Him.
He led them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. We may not see a cloud or a pillar of fire, BUT we see Jesus. Jesus is the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
Then they learned that God provides for His People, even in the wilderness!
“Surely the LORD your God has blessed you in all your undertakings; he knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” Deut 2:7.
They lacked nothing!
One of the most misquoted verses of Scripture is Philippians 4:19: “My God shall supply all your needs.” There was a condition attached to that. The Philippians had provided for Paul’s needs, and now Paul assures them that the Lord will meet their needs also!
God’s love is unconditional, but there are conditions for blessing!
Finally they learned that God tests His people. That is always the positive side of being in a wilderness experience. God tests us in order to improve us. To reach full potential, instead of living a mediocre existence. To perfect us.
God provided for them in the wilderness. They ate manna, but God not only supplied their needs in this way, but He also made it a test:
Exodus: 16:4 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
They could only collect enough for the day. They must only collect the manna one day at a time, and believe God would provide their food again the next day.
He wanted to teach them faith and trust. That was where they had failed.
And in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus only allows you and me to ask for bread for today only. “Give us THIS day our DAILY bread.”