Imagine if you can for a moment that you are in the desert. The hot sun is scorching down from above and sand is covering the landscape as far as the eye can see. There is no water or shelter in sight. How would you survive?
Whether literal or figurative, we have all faced desert seasons in our lives, dry with limited resources. You may be in a desert season now.
In the Bible the children of Israel were in the desert for 40 long years. Can you imagine it? I am 42 and it is beyond my comprehension to imagine my entire life in the desert. Even with all of the limited resources, separation from the rest of the world, God never for a moment left His children and never failed to meet their every need.
We find this encouragement in Deuteronomy as Moses is retelling the goodness and faithfulness of God to the Children of Israel while they were in the desert.
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.” Deuteronomy 2:7
You have not lacked a thing.
This seems impossible in a desert, with no food or water, no farms or livestock, no store to buy new clothes when the old ones wear out. How is it that they lacked nothing for 40 years?
Deuteronomy 8 tells us how God did this miraculous thing.
Lets read it together.
“You shall remember all the ways which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you as a man disciplines his son. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. Otherwise, we might say in our heart, my power and the strength of my hand have made this wealth. But you should remember the Lord your God, for it is He giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. It shall come about of you ever forget your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I will testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 6:1-20
You are good and faithful. Draw us to you, make us holy and righteous as You are holy and righteous. Forgive us for bowing down to other gods. They are not always the obvious graven images of gold, but can be anything that we are giving our time and attention to, our career, our finances, our children, anything that comes into the number one slot that isn't You. Let us not forget your faithfulness and provision. You are the one who takes care of our needs. Let us not get too comfortable in our homes or our wealth and forget you God.
It was not our power that built these things, it was and is Yours.