Summary: The Hebrew nation, Elijah, Jesus and others were driven into the desert. What is God doing when we "are driven into the desert"?
DRIVING THROUGH THE DESERT
INTRODUCTION: Describe living in Arizona and camping Out in the desert as a Boy Scout. Describe how easy it was to get lost and separated. (Superstition Mountains). The desert has been used by God many times throughout the Bible. The Israelites in the Wilderness, the prophet Elijah, and even Jesus spent time out in the desert (Matthew 4:1). What is God’s purpose in using the desert in the lives of those who follow him? Tell story of Elijah in I Kings 19. Why do we experience these things. What is God doing when we “are driven into the desert. TEXT: Deuteronomy 8:1-5
I. WE DISCOVER OUR DEPENDENCE 8:1-5:
A. Explain context.
1. This book is a review of the events that happened in the desert.
2. Moses reminds them of the how they depended on God for everything.
3. God also reminded them of how he provided.
B. Note verses 2—3.
1. God tested their hearts.
2. God showed them his character.
C. The desert is the place in our experience where we discover our dependence.
1. It is in hard times that we discover and face our human limitations. (Titanic illustration.)
2. It is in the desert that we abandon our illusion of independence.
3. Re-read Psalm 42:1-4
4. It is in the deserts of our lives that we really discover our need for God.
II. WE DISCOVER OUR VULNERABLILITY 8:14-16:
A. One of the first lessons I learned while a Boy Scout in Arizona was “Be careful when you turn over a rock.” Also “Be careful where you sit.”
1. Not only does one discover dependency in the desert, one discovers their vulnerablity.
2. The desert is full of all kinds of dangers such as scorpions & cactus, rattlesnakes & heat stroke, getting lost & falling into a hole.
B. Israel faced many things in the desert.
1. They left the relative security of being a slave to the insecurity that freedom brings.
2. They became vulnerable to the deserts dangers and trials.
3. Tell of “Sheep Dog’s” graduation. Young man who was a "wild child" in highschool graduated. As I watched him, he realized the fun time was over. The look on his face was priceless.
C. When we enter into the desert of our dispair, we become, and experience being vulnerable.
1. We see that we are not invincable.
2. It is a hard thing to take to realize that you are at someone else’s mercy.
3. It is during our time in the desert that we see that we are really in need of God and why.
4. It is often a hard thing to discover that we are human, that we are frail, and that we cannot go through life alone.
III. WE DISCOVER GRATITUDE 8:16-18:
A. It is while we are in the desert that we discover our dependency upon God, and our vulnerability without him. As a result we discover how really grateful we should be to him.
1. In these verse we see God reminding the people what he has done for them.
2. Their response should be gratitude and loyalty.
3. This is why many runaway’s become slaves to evil and wicked men and women in the Big City.
B. Genuine gratitude is born from a deep appreciation of the infinite value of what is left after everything trivial, everything artificial, and everything inconsequential has been stripped away. Gratitude is the emotion that floods our souls when we see what we have in the light of what we have or could have lost.
1. Preacher visits a young woman in the hospital. She had lost both her eyes in an accident. After the visit, he went out into the hall, crying and thanking God for his two eyes.
2. Never know how much we need something until it is gone.
CONCLUSION: When we are in our desert we need to remember God is with us, showing us ourselves and revealing himself to us.
1. Elijah saw his vulnerablility and dependence upon God as did Jesus.
2. They both responded with obedience.
3. This is the ultimate expression of gratitude: To remain dependent upon God and to express our loyalty to him through our obedience.