God Can Speak to Us in our Desert Experiences.
“I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.”
Usually it is during our darkest hours that we have the most powerful experience with the Lord. It seems providential that we will of necessity experience challenges in various aspects of our daily lives. He will lead us into the desert, so that He can speak tenderly to us. It is only through the desert experience that we become vulnerable and open to hear from Him. We tend to listen the more when we are with our backs against the wall. No one but the Lord understands this better. When the negatives of life confronts us, we tend to be more open to God and He is always present.
It is no coincidence that words “desert” and “speak” are used in the Hosea reference. These two words are one, since it is in the most desolate time and places where God has made His most significant appearances and where He speaks into the lives of His people.
This had been especially true at Mount Horeb. Mount Horeb, Har Charev, is also known as Mount Sinai or “the mountain of God.” Charev comes from the Hebrew word charab, which means to make desolate. This desolate mountain of God is the place where Moses is redeemed, even after committing murder (Exodus 2:11–15).
It is his encounters with God in the desert that moulded his character and allowed him to see the Glory of God, not only in his own lifetime here on earth but also 1,500 years later when he appeared with Jesus and Elijah on the mountain of Transfiguration (Matthew 17).
We can encounter God in the desolation of our desert experiences, too. Let us discover how.
In the Desert, the Lord Redeems Our Desolation
We often think of redemption in terms of freeing us from the eternal damnation and desolation that our sin requires. But, Jesus already did that when He died and rose again. However, Abba Father is our Redeemer from other forms of desolation and desperation. We saw this when He delivered Moses out of his exile as a shepherd in the land of Midian and brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.
In The Desert, The Lord Set Us Free Truly
“The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.” (Exodus 5:2) Moses leads the Israelites across the Red Sea and where does he take them? To the same mountain in the desert of Horeb where God spoke to him from the supernatural burning bush. At that mountain of God, Moses tells the people God’s conditions for their freedom: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:4–6)
In The Desert, God Wants To Teach Us Valuable Lessons
It is in the desert, where God wants to teach us valuable lessons, too, so that we can possess all that God has for us. Too often, however, we focus on getting out as fast as possible: "Lord, deliver me from this terrible place or situation that I am in,” we pray. Instead, we need to embrace what God has for us in times of trial. We need to say to Him, “Grow me, train me, and build me so I can stand strong for you!” As we listen and learn from our Father in Heaven how to move forward, we are to take note of how He alone sustains us with supernatural power to endure these times of growth, as He did with Moses and the Israelites.
In Our Forgetfulness, the Lord Calls His Beloved Aside. “Israel went after her lovers, and forgot me, says the Lord. Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” (Hosea 2:13–14) When we forget Him, He will lead us back into the wilderness, the place where we must again be dependent on hearing His voice and His alone. There, He will speak tenderly to us. Moreover, what He says we must do so we can move into all that He has waiting for us in our own Promised Land.
Paul Mursalin is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund from Guyana
Photo by Breanna Galley on Unsplash
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Abraham: Walking with Full Confidence in the Lord