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The Greatest Temptation in the Wilderness

 11.5.12

Jan Havicksz c.1660


These are some reflections I gleaned this morning while reading Psalm 78 (especially verses 18-24 ).

We are just like Israel, whose greatest temptation in the desert land was to test God. We are like them when we are led by the Spirit to the wilderness and found ourselves starting to demand from Him food,  pleasures, and the same kind of satisfactions that the world, in which we were once enslaved, offers us. It is that longing in our heart, deep within, that rebels in the quiet, and speaks against God saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?" that reveals our sin.

See what is there? We doubt God's goodness, His sovereignty, His promises. We start craving for the world because the satisfaction it offers is immediate. We forget that even in the wilderness He sustains his own. We forget that He has said that we are engraved in the palm of His hand, and that we are the apple of His eye.

How can we forget  that He has already provided Jesus, the Living Water, so that we won't thirst anymore? Our Lord Jesus was struck on the cross just as the rock in the desert and life, living water,  gushed out and streams overflowed. Why do we long to drink water from broken cisterns, from poisoned rivers?

How can we forget that Jesus himself said that He is the Bread of Life? How can we long for something else? Only He has words of eternal life. Only when we come to Him and eat at his table is that we will be truly satisfied. Only and only then.

How easily it is for us to stop believing in God and in His saving power. He will never, never, never let His people die in the wilderness. Never.

The Lord is our Shepherd,
        we shall not want.

The Lord is our Father,
        we shall never be abandoned.

The Lord is our Life,
       we shall not die.

The Lord is our Hope,
       we shall not despair.

The Lord is our Refuge,
       we shall not fear.

Come to the table, grab your bible, read it, mediate on it, pray over it. It is food to your soul, medicine to your bones. Goodness and life. It is Living Water, come drink, my friend, and thirst no more.


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If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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