I can hear someone asking, “Which One?” There were many miracles in the wilderness for Israel but there was one miracle that is most important for us today. I know of no one who enjoys the wilderness in life. It is normally difficult, often unpleasant and most tend to do as Israel when we are forced out of our comfort zones – – complain, resist and rebel. It has been my experience to observe that when we are moved out into uncharted territory in life we tend to resist and frequently we, like Israel, have to repeat the course and take another lap around the mountain.
So, at the risk of sounding morbid the wilderness is valuable and in a real sense desirable. I must qualify that by saying: It has a purpose, for a season, but the objective is to leave the wilderness as soon as possible. The objective is the Promised Land or Place of Promise. In our comfort zones there is predictability, if not stability but in the wilderness there is unpredictability and it looks anything but stable or safe. Remember what Israel did when God delivered them from Egyptian bondage? They complained, resisted and rebelled. They saw only the immediate and did not like the discomfort. Egypt was bondage but it had become a comfort zone. They knew what to expect and had learned to cope which often is a slow death in itself.
An obvious question would be “Why was the wilderness necessary?” It is true that the murmured, grumbled, complained resisted and even rebelled but those are symptoms of the problem not the problem. What was the problem? They were out of Egypt but Egypt was not out of them so they needed the wilderness to get Egypt out of them. In the wilderness they would come to know God in a greater measure and there He would reveal Himself to them as the Covenant Keeping God.
THE COVENANT NAMES:
They had known, through Abraham that God was ‘El-Shaddai’ – ALMIGHTY GOD! He was totally sovereign and all powerful but they had not known Him in His personal covenant names which reveal His heart and character. The wilderness provided the platform for that learning experience to become part of their lives. In the wilderness they would come to know Him as the ‘source’ and ‘substance’ of all their need. He was:
- JEHOVAH – Jireh – – Provider.
Not only with Abraham but all of Israel He would demonstrate that was/is their prosperity, provision, and protection.
- JEHOVAH – Rophe – – Healer.
Psalms 105:37 tells us that there was not one feeble one among them when they came out of Egypt. In Exodus 15 we find that difficult times came and in v.26 the Lord spoke to them, “If you will diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought upon the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” [I AM THE LORD YOUR HEALTH.]
- JEHOVAH – Nissi – – Banner/Covering.
They saw war with Amalek and went through Rephidim (no water). God demonstrated that He was their covering, banner, healer, and provider.
- JEHOVAH- M’kaddesh – – Sanctification.
They were set apart for service and God made a distinction of them. He gave them and gives us purpose and vision.
- JEHOVAH – Shalom – – Peace. This is two-fold – – Inner peace and also rest. It is a calm confidence, trust, security. It is PEACE.
- JEHOVAH -tsidkenu – – Righteousness.
- JEHOVAH – Rhoi – – Shepherd.
- JEHOVAH – Shammah – – Presence. This is the promise of our LORD that He Is There!
In the wilderness they learned that God was all they needed and they were His ‘treasured treasure’. They learned that their reason for being was HIM and HIS Purpose. The nation of Israel was a type/shadow/picture of the New Testament Church. They were brought through the training school of the wilderness so that God could reveal Himself more fully to them. In this revelation of God they learned to TRUST more fully, MANIFEST Him more freely and ACCOMPLISH His purposes more fully in their lives. To trust Him I must know Him, to know Him I must have intimacy with Him but to manifest Him I must become one with Him. He must displace and replace areas of my life and character that are not like Him thus the Wilderness.
I want to continue this one step further tomorrow but for now I will pause and say God be with you in His fullness in all you do. Blessings abundantly be upon you is my prayer!