Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Jewish people take pride in being "Desert People." One of the main reasons is the dependence on God and identity they formed while in the desert. We all have desert experiences that create that dependence and a new identity in us. This lesson begins t

1. Conflict between Ranchers and Farmers ¨C Always a conflict

A Texas rancher met up with a Wisconsin dairy farmer. The two men began talking about their land and the milkman told the cattleman that he operated his business on 125 acres. The Texan scoffed at such a small parcel of land. He said, "Yankee, that ain¡¯t nothin¡¯. On my ranch I can get in my truck at sunrise and I won¡¯t reach the fence line of my property until sunset." The dairy farmer snorted, "Yeah, I used to have a truck like that."

2. God displays Grace to his people in the Land of Milk and Honey

7 Then the LORD said, ¡°I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Per¡äizzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb¡äusites. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Exodus 3.7-9

a. Milk = Shepherds (desert area) ¨C East and South regions

b. Honey = Farmers (fertile farmland) ¨C West and North Regions

3. God intended to bring them into the Promised Land but 10/12 spies failed in faith ¨C after all God had done for them in their deliverance and care in the wilderness ¨C back to the wilderness for 40 years

29 your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and of all your number, numbered from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me, 30 not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephun¡äneh and Joshua the son of Nun. Numbers 14.29-30

4. In the Promised Land or in the Wilderness, God would be with his people

a. Results depend on what you look for

b. A teacher wrote on the board: GODISNOWHERE ¨C some students saw: God Is Nowhere; some saw: God Is Now Here

I. Land of Milk ¨C Shepherding Land

A. This Land Was Unpredictable

1. The weather was undependable

a. 11¡± of rain/year

b. Exact amount for winter wheat crop

2. God also works in unpredictable ways

a. Abraham came to Beersheba ¨C no rain ¨C not even 11¡± ¨C went to Egypt

b. Dealt with Moses in an unpredictable way

c. Coming of Yeshua (Jesus) was unpredictable ¨C baby in swaddling cloths rather than triumphant king

B. This Land Was Isolated

1. A Good Place to Learn faith

a. Dwight Eisenhower: ¡°Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of tomorrow with the handle of anxiety or with the handle of faith.¡±

b. Survival came by the blessings of God ¨C even in the edge of the Promised Land

c. Place of preparation for Moses; Israel; Yeshua; Shaul (Paul)

d. Special place for Elijah ¨C 40 days at Mt. Horeb ¨C 1 Kings 19.8

1) As Moses at the Mount of God ¨C same cave/cleft?

2) God was not in the spectacular ¨C Wind-Earthquake-Fire

3) He was in the still small voice

4) Sends Elijah to anoint new king of Syria (Hazael) and Israel (Jehu) and to call Elisha

2. Benefits from the wilderness:

a. Encouraged the maturity of Abraham

b. Place from which Torah; Tabernacle; Levites; Sanhedrin would come

c. Better in the desert

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 ¡°Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD,

I remember the devotion of your youth,

your love as a bride,

how you followed me in the wilderness,

in a land not sown.

3 Israel was holy to the LORD,

the first fruits of his harvest.

All who ate of it became guilty;

evil came upon them,

says the LORD.¡± Jeremiah 2.1-2

3. God taught them dependence in the desert ¨C Rock; shade; rescue form water (wadis ¨C 4 weeks of rain in the spring; 4 weeks of rain in the fall)

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40.2

II. Land of Honey -- Farmland

A. Predictable Land

1. 20-60¡± of rain each year; famine years 11¡±

2. Always reaping as opposed to Negev farmers who were always praying

B. Populated Land

1. Fertile land produced big cities

2. Coastal areas, etc. ¨C Philistines

a. Baal and Yam were their gods

b. Israel assimilated into their culture

C. Prosperous Land ¨C a place where God rewards faith

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