With the elections looming, anything I would say other than “vote informed” could be seen as endorsing one or the other candidates. I have therefore “elected” to share a devotional from a set I recently contributed to a series promoting Bible reading to be distributed soon by the WVCSB office.
He Calls His Sons and Daughters to the Wilderness
“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.” (Deut 8.2, Moses speaking)
Every parent can recount a variation of the following scenario: The child comes with either a terminal case of sadness or anger and demands to know when they can have _________ (fill in the blank with a horse, guitar, chemistry set, keys to the car, grand piano, around the world cruise . . .) Simple denials are met with juvenile reasoning, temper tantrums, or litanies about why they are deprived and this will stunt their march to maturity. Substitutes are greeted with rolled or misty eyes. Promises of future fulfillment fall on deaf ears because the next sunset is an eternity away for them.
The proper emphasis is not on my deprivation from things but my deficiency in character (lack of humility, what is not in my heart) and glorification of God (keeping of His commandments). He used the wilderness to drain some things out of their collective identity and to stamp it with others. Don’t avoid the wilderness; it reveals as much character as it creates. Jesus underwent a wilderness experience before He began His public ministry. If the Lord chooses for us to wander in His wilderness, we should welcome it, not for the travail we endure, but for the joy set before us at our eventual departure from the desert into His ministry and presence (NT equivalent, Phil. 3.10).
(Listen to Michael Card’s musical and very singable setting of this concept at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOB8tk2RIdk) (Michael Card has sold over 4 million albums and written over 25 books, his most famous contribution being the song “El Shaddai.” He has long been a model for teaching the Word of God in thoughtful and creative ways.)