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Moses instructed the people to gather an omer, or about two quarts' worth, for each person each day. When some of the people tried to save extra, it became wormy and spoiled. Manna appeared for six days in a row. On Fridays, the Hebrews were to gather a double portion, because it did not appear on the next day, the Sabbath. And yet, the portion they saved for the Sabbath did not spoil. After the people gathered the manna, they made it into flour by grinding it with hand mills or crushing it with mortars.

What the Bible Says About Prison Ministry

Then they boiled the manna in pots and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil. Numbers Skeptics have tried to explain manna as a natural substance, such as a resin left behind by insects or a product of the tamarisk tree. However, the tamarisk substance appears only in June and July and does not spoil overnight. God told Moses to save a jar of manna so future generations could see how the Lord provided for his people in the desert. Aaron filled a jar with an omer of manna and put it in the Ark of the Covenant , in front of the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Exodus says the Jews ate manna every day for 40 years. And oh how dry is the desert! In my distress, I turned to God as I usually did and once more fell on our key verse. Suddenly, my eyes were opened. God had led His people through the deserts.

“God met them where they were.”

For each step they took, God was standing right there, by their side taking a step with them and directing them. God did not take them out of the desert into a land flowing with milk and honey, yet He walked them through the desert. In the same way, when we face our rough situations, when we find ourselves in dry and thirsty places, God takes the lead and walks us through them. As we walk through our own deserts, places devoid of life, and desolate, God promises that we will not thirst because even in the deserts, He can split the rock so water can flow out of it for our benefit.

But notice how God meets our need even in the darkest hours: He splits the rock. Something had to break! Sometimes, you might find yourself in a desert, where there is nothing but dust and everything is dry. My bank account was dry. And as you put up with walking through the desert, you wonder why God would allow the only thing you find in the desert to break, like the rock.

God has to break your rock, the only thing you find in the desert so water can gush out. This way, you will not thirst. Friend, in my desert, God split my rock and it felt like God was taking away the only thing I had left. It is a scary, debilitating feeling when your life and your faith seem to have all been in vain. Being out there in the wilderness feeling alone, vulnerable, scared, betrayed by God, despairing , life seems so chaotic and disconnected.

They tell us that the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

We can be like a desert wasteland crying out for God to refresh us |

A wilderness in the Hebrew Scriptures is a barren, arid and dry place, a void, and a place where no life grows or thrives — it is a place cut off from life; a place inhabited by monsters and demonic forces; a scary place; a place of chaos; a place of wandering and restlessness. This was the place where the newly baptized Jesus was violently forced to dwell, and where he would encounter Satan himself.

Desert Lessons: 7 Things We Can Learn from the Israelites' Wandering Years

It was there in the desert that Jesus suffered from hunger, thirst, and loneliness… it was there that He was tempted to desperation, and to give up on God altogether. No doubt, many of you have gone through several wildernesses — perhaps a life-threatening or serious illness, the death of a loved one, separation from a partner, the suffering of a child, the death of a dream, failure, addiction, bankruptcy, loss of reputation, rejection of a friend, and on and on. Though the wilderness is a place of darkness and despair, it should be understood that it is also a place where God is.

When the Israelites left Egypt where they were enslaved and entered the wilderness — God accompanied them for all forty years! Sound familiar? So they were also tempted to abandon Him!

Mighty to Save - Hillsong Worship

Their faith in God was being severely tested. But that was not the case — so the wilderness was a complete shock to them! He is not at all what we expected! We want a god that we can predict! In that precarious placed called the wilderness, the children of Israel learned to trust God, and to believe profoundly in His goodness and mercy despite the wilderness. Thus, they had to learn to trust that God is still good … that God is for them and not against them even amidst the unpredictability of life. Though God seemed unpredictable to them, they ultimately learned that He was predictably good.

So the wilderness is a place of exile from a predictable kind of a God; we are forced to give up on that kind of a God. The wilderness forces us to let go of our control, and in the dark night of faith, we let God lead us in the journey to the Promised Land even if we get their circuitously by the way of the desert. The experience of the wilderness opens us up to a deeper and more profound faith in God and in His goodness even as we wander through the lonely desert. The wilderness is not the end of the story , because the Scripture says that God always brings His people out of the wilderness… just as the Israelites and Jesus Himself emerged from their wandering in the desert.

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In the Hebrew Scriptures, the wilderness is the place where salvation dawns… the place that gives way to a land rich in water and life… the place that ceases to be a place of exile and alienation. Ultimately, it is the cross that sustains us in the wilderness… that continues to give us faith and hope… because when we gaze upon it, we see not only death and abandonment, but that the Lord Jesus who endured the cross was not allowed to remain there… that He who felt abandoned by His Father was vindicated. And so like Jesus, we will not be abandoned, that we may also see the Land of the living.

The Wilderness Experience of the Believer. The spiritual wilderness feels differently for different people — for some, it is a place of intense and devastating loss; for others it is associated with feelings of emptiness, weariness and listlessness. The experience can last for days or for years.

What Is Manna in the Bible?

For many believers the wilderness forces a change of faith, and a re-framing and re-defining of what Christianity really means to them… some emerge out of the desert with their faith in tact, but with a renewed sense of energy… others stay in the church, but remain in some kind of low-grade wilderness for the rest of their lives, believing that a deep nourishing faith is either a false expectation or simply beyond their reach.

Another thing to know is that God is in the desert with us… He has not abandoned us … He is not just on the other side of the desert waiting for us to get through it… He is right there in the midst of it all.

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  4. S.P.I.R.E. Decodable Readers, Set 5A: The Loris (SPIRE).

Rockell says that though that might be difficult to accept or believe, we need to at least hold it as a strong possibility as we move through the desert. When we wield a lot emotional energy it drains us of physical energy also, so when we reach this point we desperately need to take time to rest. Before God converses with Elijah, He first attends to his physical needs — food, water and rest. Obviously, it is possible to over-spiritualize our needs and our experience think about that … so sometimes our first priority should be to take care of our physical well-being, that we might be strengthened to face the inner journey that lies ahead.

A really valuable part of that pilgrimage can be to get away from normal life for a little bit, to get out of town, or go to a retreat center — even if it is only for a few days. Getting out of the normal rut of life can create a very helpful perspective, in much the same way that one benefits from being refreshed physically. Elijah tells his story to God… he tells Him of his pain, his anger, his fear, and his self-pity… he tells God his story, twice!

Sometimes we need to keep telling God our story over and over until a shift happens — by the way, God is robust enough to hear our anger and our disappoint-ment as often and as forcefully as we need to express it. Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights when he received the Law Ex Horeb 1 Kg I think not. Though some people place too much significance on numerology, and try to find a special meaning behind every number in the Bible, the number forty has long been recognized as being symbolically significant on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement.

Jesus re-entered the world after wrestling with uncertainty, pain and doubt, and after overcoming His demons, fears and temptations. How to Overcome the Wilderness Experience. Though the experience is both confusing and discon-certing, the other side of the desert brings a far deeper and richer faith.

The believers faith can be fostered if he will engage in spiritual reading and theological study — this will help him reconstruct his beliefs and learn new forms of spiritual practice, like meditation, contemplative prayer, the employment of music in personal worship, journaling, engaging with God through physical activity, and discovering a new kind of practical service or ministry that impacts the world around him.

All of these behaviors can be extremely helpful. The ultimate purpose of the wilderness is not only to develop a deep transforming faith, but to develop a profoundly energetic and rewarding intimate connection with God. The new wardrobe can embrace all kinds of wonderful colors and textures, including some of the previous garments, after a bit of alteration. Though the desert is indeed a dark and lonely place, if we will persevere and move through it like Jacob did when he wrestled with God Gen ; Hos , we will eventually emerge from it with treasures of insight, wisdom, strength and joy — hard won and precious not only to us, but also to God.

Men love status and ruling over others, and when they have it, pride will cause them to hang on to it very often at the expense of others. Men often lie to impress their listeners with their own importance, or boast of their achievements — pride is at the root of the lie… pride resists being in a subordinate position… pride demands its rights… pride resists being humble… pride causes us to blame others for our problems.