Not all “wilderness” experiences are the same. Some are caused by sin or disobedience, and some are Holy Spirit training exercises.
Who is a more faithful comrade in the wilderness than the Holy Spirit? Whose friendship is more valuable during troubled times than the most wonderful, kind, loyal, and awesome confidante in the Universe?
The wilderness does not have to be a lonely place for a child of God. It’s an expedition God means for us to travel in partnership with one another.
Those stranded in the wilderness must constantly evaluate their situation. They need to take stock of their resources and understand their surroundings.
Surviving a physical wilderness takes more than the skills to build a shelter, start a fire, and purify water. It requires a certain psychology, a mindset, a will to live that overcomes the fear and stress associated with crisis.
Exiting Egypt with only what they could carry, they were to change the world. Overnight, slave-Israel became a new nation totally different from the rest of the world. God gave them a reverse culture. This was to prepare and equip them to be his people. He said, “Do not learn the ways of the nations …” (Jeremiah 10:2).
One of my favourite places in Israel is a place that’s known as Banias, known as Caesarea Philippi in the Bible. Today, it’s just a big ruin and archeological dig. But to this day, you can see how otherworldly and strange and mysterious it must have been in its time. The city was built on a huge rock foundation, nestled up against the side of a steep cliff at the foot of Mount Hermon.
You may have heard about Mount Hermon. In the Bible, it’s often associated with strange and creepy things – demonic things. It was famous for idolatry. In fact, more than 20 pagan temples have been excavated there so far. It was the place where Jeroboam built golden calves and shrines to pagan gods and led the northern kingdom of Israel into idolatry.
There once was a very wealthy man. He was the heir of several generations of wealthy men before him, and each had increased the family fortune.
The Old Testament declared that Gentiles from around the world would come to the Messiah, bearing gifts that actually included gold and frankincense (Psa 72:10-15; Isa 60:1-6).
“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.” Matthew 2:9