He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. ~Psalm 107:40
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “wilderness”? For me, I have foreboding thoughts of barrenness, uncharted territory, wild animals, and a place where you can die from a lack of supplies and resources. The psalmist described it as the place “where there is no way.” The wilderness is not a place that you would choose for an adventurous vacation. No, the wilderness is a place “where there is no way.” Let us see the some lessons about the wilderness.
There is the desolation in the wilderness.
The wilderness that is referred to in the Bible was the hot, arid, and sandy desert plains. In Psalm 107, we see some vivid descriptions of the wilderness. It is a place where there was little to no water. It was a barren area, devoid of luscious plant life except for cacti and other drought-tolerant plants. It was a place of harsh weather. There would be hot days. There would be very cold nights. There would be blinding sand storms. There would be venomous snakes, reptiles, and scorpions. It was a place that was extremely dry. It was a desolate place where the risk of death from exposure to the elements and no food and water was extremely high. It is a picture of a spiritual life that has not been in the presence of God: barren, dry, and withering away.
There are the detours in the wilderness.
There are no marked paths or designated landmarks in the wilderness. It is a place where there is no way. Those who go deep into the wilderness will find themselves going from detour to detour. They find themselves going in circles. People who are lost in the wilderness are just wandering. They go from one spot to another, but they go nowhere. When we backslide and get too embedded in the world or in sin, we, too, are wandering in the wilderness. We lose our way. We find ourselves walking but going nowhere. We get turned around and just go in circles. You think you are going in the right direction, but realize that you are wandering.
There is the discipline in the wilderness.
The wilderness is a place of God’s chastening and discipline. God made Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years because they despised God’s command to enter Kadeshbarnea. Instead of enjoying the spiritual inheritance that God wanted them to have, they wandered for 40 years. There was undue delay in getting to the Promised Land. There were the deaths of those who were rebellious. All adults over the age of 20, except for Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness. The discipline of the wilderness is God setting us back in our goals and desires until we realize that we cannot accomplish anything without Him.
There is the deliverance from the wilderness.
Instead of being in the place where there is no way, we can be in the place where “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” First, decide to walk by faith and not by sight. Second, trust God for every step of your journey. We only need enough light for the next step. Third, repent of all unconfessed sins and start your pathway out of the wilderness of wandering. Fourth, live in the providence of God. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Fifth, stay in God’s will for your life to avoid wandering where there is no way. The wilderness is no way to go. Don’t let the world or sinful indulgences take you into the wilderness.
Have a directed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 10-13