On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law. (Deuteronomy 1:5)
It has always intrigued me that, as a nation, Israel didn’t grow and multiply while in the land of Canaan but always outside of the land, in fact, in the land of their enemies. Likewise, it has always struck me as interesting and important that, through Moses, God gave instructions for living to His people while they wandered through a wilderness. In fact, this book opens with, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel … in the wilderness.
The Hebrew word translated as “wilderness” is מדבר midbar — spelled with the letters mem, dalet, beit and reish). This same spelling could also be rendered as m’daber – a phrase that means “to speak.” In other words, very often in our life, God chooses to speak to us in an environment that doesn’t offer much luxury and convenience. To the contrary, it is usually in an environment that puts every man and woman to the test to see whether they possess the spiritual mettle to continue on having only the Word of God to sustain them. Of course, He gave them bread and water for their daily physical needs but that was also intended to teach them about what they need in a spiritual sense — “Man does not live by bread alone….”
How many of us have wondered why God often leads (or prods) us into what seems to be a wilderness experience? Within our hearts we know why it has to be, however, it is our flesh that is quick to resist (and sometimes resent) the experience. But the One who knows what is in our best interests guides us into that place and that season whereby we have nothing else to rely upon save Him and His Word. As it written, “He made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; and He led them on safely, so that they did not fear” (Psalm 78:52-53). So just like Israel of old, we too must traverse the wilderness of life, sustained by His Hand of provision, but ever needful to hear Him speak His Word into depths of our soul.
Blessings and Shalom,