Wednesday, September 09, 2009

How to Survive the Wilderness

Psalm 106:6 says (New American Standard): "We have sinned like our fathers."

Those "fathers" were the Israelites whom God brought out of Egypt. The Psalm then talks about the incredible miracles God performed to save his people from their oppressors. How He parted the Red Sea and led them through--while the Egyptian army followed and was covered by the waters and drowned. Israel praised God for their deliverance. They knew, with that drowned army and the sea now between them and their enemies, they were finally free from Egypt forever.

Then come verses 13-14:

They quickly forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But craved intensely in the wilderness,
And tempted God in the desert.

The Psalm goes on to say how the Israelites continued to forget what God had done for them, even fashioning a gold calf to worship. Even so, God eventually led them to their promised land. But--(verse 24):

Then they despised the pleasant land;
They did not believe in His word.

As many times as I’ve prayed the Psalms, it was a couple years before God spoke to me through these verses. Israel “craved intensely in the wilderness.” As a result, even when God brought them out of the desert and into the good times He had promised them for years, they couldn’t see His goodness. They “despised the pleasant land.”

God said to me, “Brandilyn, don’t ‘crave intensely when you're in a wilderness.’”

Every Christian has been brought out from his/her own “land of Egypt.” And at some point, after the high of deliverance, we all enter our wilderness times. It’s pretty hard to be content with God in the desert. To wait--and praise Him in the midst of waiting. But God’s pretty clear here—if we refuse to use such times to build up our faith, our hearts may turn hard. We can end up following our own version of the gold calf. As a result, we can become so bitter and self-focused and defeated, we won't even see the promised blessings God later brings our way. We will "despise the pleasant land."

Are you in a wilderness right now? Hear what God is telling you: "Beloved, don’t crave intensely in your wilderness.”


Glynn said...

Thanks for this, Brandilyn. It hit home for us wilderness wanderers.

Tina said...

That is such a great reflection. Thanks!

MommaMindy said...

Thanks for the encouragement this morning, sister. I have always been thankful for the Lord's plan in all these things - it is for our good (Jer.29:11), our growth (Mal 4:2) and our godliness (2 Peter 1:6, it comes after patience.)

I also love it that suffering and glory walk hand in hand through the Scriptures. How could we endure one without the other?

We look at our Savior's time in the Wilderness with awe, that He used Scripture to ward off temptation and that the angels ministered to Him. This should be the pattern for our wilderness times, as well. Thanks for spurring on precious thoughts this morning!

I'm praying to not crave intensely...

Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks. I guess I must need to hear that since it ties in so well with other readings I've just been reminded of.

eliza-ann said...

With everything we are still going through I really needed to read this entry. Thank you.

Terri Thompson said...

Thanks Brandilyn, this is an encouragement for me right now, and a good reminder.

Anders Branderud said...


You wrote" Psalm 106:6 says (New American Standard): "We have sinned like our fathers.""

So an interesting question is: What is the definition of sin.

Learn what Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth (the Messiah) taught about it here:

Anders Branderud