Summary: From a biblical perspective, the wilderness is where a lot of people die, but it is also the place where a lot of people have accelerated spiritual growth, because of the high spiritual protein foods God serves in the wilderness.
A Table in the Wilderness
Today I want to talk about a table in the wilderness. We are going to leave our John the Baptist series and take a little trip down a sidepath this AM. I connect this message to our current series by simply noting that John the Baptist was to be a forerunner for Jesus to prepare people to receive the Lord. We could say that this way: John was the appetizer. To enjoy that appetizer you had to go the only place it was being offered: in the wilderness. Some restaurants are known for their French Onion Soup, some for their Blooming Onion, if you want what they got, you gotta go where it is. The wilderness is where God was offering His appetizer. Like a restaurant that features a special and unique appetizer, the wilderness has certain delicacies you can only get there. An appetizer is a small dish that is supposed to get you excited about the main course that is coming. John the Baptist did a wonderful job at that, preparing people for God's main dish: Jesus.
Lu 7:24 And when the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the multitudes about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
Today we are going to preach on God's table in the wilderness
First some introductory comments
Then I will talk about some of the dishes served and their purpose.
We start by noticing some of the things God gave the Jews in the wilderness:
1. The law
2. The Spirit - 70 prophesy
3. The tabernacle
4. John the Baptist
I could go on, the wilderness has a rich depository if you learn how to tap into it.
Psalm 78 is a psalm of warning, in which the writer warns of the things the Jews who left Egypt did to provoke God. They had seen Him do incredible miracles, turn water to blood, part the red Sea, make water come out of a rock etc, and yet we read in
Ps 78:19 Then they spoke against God; They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
They were implying he couldn't, with that question.
No, he can't.
God can't set a table in the wilderness.
For them it was a foolish question.
The wilderness is where you go to die.
That is the way Egyptians thought. That is what they warned their children growing up.
Alot of the Jews probably had serious misgivings the day they left Egypt heading for the wilderness.
From a biblical perspective, the wilderness is where a lot of people die, but it is also the place where a lot of people have accelerated spiritual growth, because of the high spiritual protein foods God serves in the wilderness.
1. The first thing we understand about wilderness journeys is that we always have a hard time accepting that God has anything to do with them.
Here is our view of a wilderness adventure: (PPT WILDERNESS don't think so)
Here is a more realistic photo
Lu 4:1 ¶ And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
A. There are parts of your journey that you will not understand, nor will you be given much explanation about.
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
The second thing we learn about the table in the wilderness is God's table manners.
Desert = in Hebrew is the word midbawr comes from Hebrew root dawbar which is translated AV-speak 840, say 118, talk 46, promise 31, tell 25, commune 20, pronounce 14, utter 7
God speaks in the desert and teaches us table manners but His speaking is through the school of hard knocks.
Things kids can teach that they learned in the school of hard knocks:
"You can't trust dogs to watch your food for you."
"Don't sneeze when somebody is cutting your hair."
"You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk."
"When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair."
"No matter how hard you try you cannot baptize a cat."
These are the kinds of accelerated learning experiences we might call: "learning the hard way."
In the wilderness you learn what not to do, because the consequences are more severe. For example forgetting to put air in your tire. If you have a spare or triple A or the money for a tow truck, no problem, but when you are in the wilderness you have no safety net. You learn things the hard way you will never forget.