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Wilderness References in Scripture

  • God promised to bless Abraham into a great nation; God sent him into the wilderness; to a country not his own, Genesis 12:1,13:16.
  • Hagar was sent away into the wilderness to die with her son, but met God and received His promise there, Genesis 16:6-16.
  • God wrestled with Jacob in the wilderness, Genesis 32:24.
  • Moses fled to the wilderness of Midian to seek refuge after committing murder in Egypt, Exodus 2:15.
  • Moses was called into leadership by God while tending the flock in the desert wilderness, Exodus 3.
  • Moses led the Israelites out from slavery in Egypt, across the Red Sea through the barren wilderness, Exodus 12:29-51, 13:17-22, 14:15-31.
  • Through their journey to Sinai and wandering through the wilderness, God miraculously provided sustenance of water, manna and quail even though they continued to disobey, Exodus 15:22-27, 16, 17:1-7.
  • The Lord spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the remote Desert of Sinai where Moses regularly met with God, Numbers 1
  • The Israelites were humbled and tested in the wilderness in preparation for the Promised Land, Deut. 8:2
  • Before either the tabernacle or Temple were built, the people met with God in the wilderness, Exodus. 25
  • The scapegoat carried away sin into the wilderness, Leviticus. 16
  • Elijah fled to the wilderness where God finds him and strengthens him physically, 1 Kings 19: 9-12a.
  • God reveals himself to Elijah not through the wind, earthquake or fire, but through a gentle whisper, 1 Kings 19: 12b-18.
  • God humbled and tested his people in the wilderness, Psalms. 107:40, Job 12:21, 24.
  • God teaches us about his sovereignty by entering into our experience and understanding of wilderness (Job 38-42:6)
  • God blesses the wilderness, Psalms 65:5-13, 104
  • Blessings will come in the wilderness (Isaiah 32:16, 35:1, 35:6, 41:18-19)
  • God continues to love, comfort, reassure and encourage his people in the midst of their desert wanderings during times of judgments. Hosea’s unfaithful adulterous wife was purified in the wilderness, Hosea. 2:14.
  • John the Baptist came as a voice out of the wilderness, Isaiah 40, Matthew 3:1.
  • Jesus was tested by Satan and ministered to by angels in the wilderness, Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12.
  • Jesus often entered the wilderness for spiritual renewal, Luke 5:16.
  • Spiritual leaders and prophets throughout the Bible often entered the wilderness for retreat, reflection and preparation for mission. Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, David, Peter, John, Paul and Jesus.

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