The Israelites complained all through the desert wilderness where God led them after they had spied out the Promised Land, the land God had said was theirs, the land they had left Egypt for. The Promised Land was an amazing, beautiful, rich land, but the Israelites didn’t trust the Lord that He was able to conquer and give it to them. They didn’t have the faith to receive what God wanted for them. So into the wilderness they went.
“Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink (Numbers 20:5).”
Isn’t this what we say to the Lord when He leads us to the wilderness, when we didn’t have the faith to enter the promised land that He initially promised? When he takes us to a place to grow us and test us? A place to prepare us to finally go to the promised land?
But even in the desert wilderness, God was faithful to the Israelites. And He’s faithful to us.
He never left the Israelites. He never leaves us. He never stopped leading the Israelites. He never stops leading us. He never stopped providing for the Israelites. He never stops providing for us.
God was faithful to His promises then. He’s faithful to His promises now.
So whether I’m in the wilderness or whether I’m entering a promised land, God is faithful.
The Israelites needed the wilderness. Their faith was weak. Their obedience was inconsistent. God took them to a place where only He could see them through.
There was no denying that God alone took care of them. When they looked around and saw desolation, they thought they were doomed. And by the world’s standards, they were. But not by God’s standards.
They were stripped of all worldly possibilities of success and left with only one possibility for survival and life: God alone.
And their faith would grow. And the next generation would walk in faith. Because God is faithful.
So here I am. I’ve walked in the wilderness. I’ve seen the Lord’s faithfulness when everything was impossible. I’ve been in places where only He could see me through. There’s no denying that God alone took care of me. I looked around and thought I was doomed. I had only one possibility for survival and life: God alone.
So why did He make me go through it? Why did He take me to a wretched land with no grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and even no water? Why did He take the Israelites to the desert for forty years after showing them the Promised Land?
Just like the Israelites’ faith would grow, He grew mine. He gave me hope. He gave me love. He gave me Himself. This is what He gives us in the wilderness.
Because He is the grain — the Bread of Life. He is the fruit — His love. He is the vine — the source of life. He is the water — the living water.
He provides all this in the wilderness. It’s in the wilderness that we grow in faith. It’s in the wilderness that we learn to give up our ways and trust Him. It’s in the wilderness that we find His life.
He is the king of glory, the Lord strong and mighty (Psalm 24:8). His name is Jesus.