Between the Wilderness & Promised Land

WANDERING   “Wilderness” can refer to a literal, tangible place;  it can also describe a feeling,  process or emotional state.  The Bible features metaphors and idioms to describe one's spiritual state relative to their knowledge of God and relational connection.  Throughout the Bible, God selects, refines, humbles, tests, judges, protects, blesses nations & people through such wilderness experiences.


WAITING  Beyond God’s show of power and might to bring the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt, God continued to use the wilderness area of the Sinai Peninsula to teach the Israelites about His great love and mercy and rightful demand for obedience. God provided water, manna and quail to sustain them and direct their path over 40 years.  He used of the wilderness as a training ground to prepare, refine and develop them as He set them apart to be his Holy People before bringing them into the Promised Land.  Throughout Biblical history, God called people into the wilderness to prepare them for his purposes and still does this today.


John the Baptist


WONDERING   Jesus repeatedly retreated to the barren outskirts for reflection and prayer in his daily life by habitually taking his disciples to remote places in Judea, away from the daily crowds of the cities and towns.  He mastered a simple formula of retreat, rest, reflect and repeat in his public ministry; he modeled this approach for his inner circle to emulate. Jesus often brought the living classroom to his followers and converged their faith development with the surrounding hills and valleys.  Further still, in his personal relationship with God, Jesus shows us how important it is to search out relational oneness and closeness with God the Father.  Even on the night of his arrest, Jesus retreated deeper into the Garden of Gethsemane while the disciples fell asleep; Jesus shared his prayers of anguish, sought comfort, clarity, revelation, and peaceful solitude with God the Father.