The importance of the wilderness
Luke 3: 2 “…the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.”
John had positioned himself in the wilderness ready for God.
There is no better place than the wilderness.
The wilderness is a special place for us in the Bible because it teaches us many lessons from the story of the Israelites.
The wilderness years were not wandering years. Nearly 1 year was spent at Mount Sinai where Moses was up and down the mountain getting revelation and instruction for the building of the tabernacle. They then at the foot of Sinai built the tabernacle and then moved on. But for 38 years they were in Kadesh Barnea because spies had brought a bad report, they never moved on and a generation died. Their total travelling time took less than 2 years arriving at the Promised Land with a fresh generation of leaders. It was the wilderness where they died except for 2 men, Joshua and Caleb.
The goal of the Exodus was to take Egypt out of the Israelites. The people at the Exodus are a fearful and frightened people. By the time they get to the Jordan they are ready to fight as an army. It was the wilderness that changed them.
‘Wilderness’ in Hebrew is ‘Midbar’ and it means ‘word’. Where did the Torah (first 5 OT books) come from? It wasn’t from Egypt nor the Promised Land. Where did they encounter God? It was the wilderness where revelation was given and they experienced God.
We need the wilderness years.
The place where we die in order to live.
The place where we are changed.
The place where we hear from God and encounter Him.