Journeying through the Midbar
Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelled in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings. Their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore, I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols with which they had polluted it. And I scattered them among the heathen and they were dispersed through the countries. According to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen where they went, they profaned my holy name when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord and are gone forth out of his land.
But I had pity for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen where they went. Therefore, say unto the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen where you went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and you shall be clean from all your filthiness; and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness, and I will call for the grain and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field, that you shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I do this, says the Lord God, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
Thus says the Lord God: In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities, I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be built. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate has become like the Garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities have become fortified and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places and plant that which was desolate. I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.
Thus says the Lord God: I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them. I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. And they shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 18)
I recently heard this scripture quoted in a talk titled "Equality" I understand through some, that this is perceived as a loss of blessing, a failure of a people who heard the voice of the Lord...because now we cycle through a desert place. People want to be spared the suffering, I understand that. We want Gods blessing of life and provision to be upon us and those we love without realizing the cost of such an undertaking. There is always an amount of 'tithe' required of a people in order for the windows of heaven to be poured out.
So as in times past, He takes people who have heard His voice, He leads them out to an immense valley surrounded by mountains that are ever changing and there He tries their hearts.
What do you think of when you think of a desert wilderness? The Israelites were no doubt excited initially to flee Egypt and be led by God and then as the journey progressed and they were squeezed and tried and suffered afflictions to see what kind of oil would come out of them, they likely thought Moses was mad and deceived, and how they missed the fruitfulness and abundance of Egypt. How easy the whips and lashes of Egypt seemed compared to this harsh apparently barren place.
Desolate, desolate, desolate
Hot, harsh and severe.
Times of loss, crisis, sickness, tragedy, loneliness, conflict, hardship, problems, separation, faint of heart, tears.
I will tell you something of a truth, this desert wilderness is a Holy Place. This is where God has always led His people and given His Law, made Himself known and given His Word.
Think about it. The wilderness is Holy and you are being called to become such through what the Lord sees fit for you to experience and if you humbly submit and endure through it, you are called His child. He claims you as His people and declares Himself to be your God.
You see, Midbar in Hebrew, comes from the root word 'Dabar' which means, to speak a thing. So instead of freaking out and mourning and feeling hopeless, leaving the community and standing still...rather think of it as, this is a season of Gods speaking. A place of His voice, where God will speak directly to you and and also to His people as whole, leading and guiding them through His mouth.
God brought Moses to this desert and spoke to him through a still small voice and a Burning Bush (capitalized because that is a Title of our Mother and Her Christ) And so it was with Elijah, Abraham, Lehi and more...
What is in the desert? Rocks, sand, mountains, shrubs, wild beasts, beasts of prey...
(Note: think about those symbols, some serpents of evil are camouflaged and serpents are cold blooded, they mimic... they symbolically look for warmth because they have no life within themselves, they will seek for warm places to enter. Likewise in the heat of the day they look for cool places, for openings that are shaded from the Sun, therefore...keep going onwards, do not stop and keep your heart warm in Christ and guarded. Do not become cold. The Sun always comes up and light wins over darkness. Therefore be wise. Focus solely on what is true by connecting to the heart of God, and you will be able to detect the false when it comes along. The nature of the beast cannot go on forever, hold on to God and you will outlast the attack. Joy always comes in the morning.)
If we trust God, He will draw us near to Him by bringing us into the midbah, then God removes the distractions from our life so that we might hear Him. He gives us experiences that will break our hearts so that we might come unto Him to receive His succor. That is what He longs to do for you.
Do not despise and curse the wilderness of your life, rather...embrace it. This is opportunity for you to learn, see and feel Great Things. This is opportunity for you to spiritually labour, the hardest work of all, and to serve and lift the heavy hearts around you. By this you may lay up knowledge and wisdom in the form of spiritual provision or in other words, have oil in your lamp. Also, you are being called to become his child. His child... or Banah.
Banah: meaning in Hebrew to build, rebuild, repair, establish and cause to continue, to build a house and establish a family, to restore the exiles, to be made permanent.
Being called His child, means that you build His house. If you are His child then as your calling and duty... You labor. You repair. You lift up. You restore, You heal ... and when you are tapped into that tree and those roots... you will be able to share of your abundant spiritual provision with others because you will have eyes to see and be authorized by heaven.
Here in is the Family of God. A house of Order. We are not there yet...there is so much to do and the distractions of the voice of Babylon are getting louder. If she can just divert your attention and make you lust after her... keep you busy fighting worthless battles politically and socially, then you remain her child.
Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to remove the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then shall you call and the Lord shall answer, you shall cry and he shall say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity, and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall your light rise in obscurity and your darkness be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations, and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath — from doing your pleasure on my holy day — and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honorable, and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then shall you delight yourself in the Lord. And I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. (Isaiah 20:7)
Rise up! God is calling you to step up to your mantle, the mission for which you were sent here in such a time as this.
The Israelites were fed Manna in the wilderness, food of the House of Bread. One would think they would have received that with gratitude... after a short time they complained and wearied the mouth of the Lord or Moses with their sorrows, that all they had to eat was manna and their families were suffering. I recently learned that Manna, is not the correct word for the actual food the Lord provided but rather, when the people saw the miraculous food, they exclaimed "Ma' hana?" or "What is this?"
Ma'hana? What is this stuff?
The name stuck through the epochs of time.
The Lord is the Bread of Life, that is what Bet Lehem (Hebrew) means, it means House of Bread. If you were to have stood in the cave where Christ incarnated, what would you have seen in the manger? The only thing you would have seen is His very Presence, The Holy Christ and His Mother are all we need. He is our daily bread. Our daily delight, because the grace and glory He can impart of Himself to us, is beyond all.
The Israelites grew tired of His Ma'hana, in fact they didn't realize who it was with them and feeding them of Himself in the wilderness, they had opportunity to eat of the very bread of life provided from heaven, each day a blessing and they rather wanted what they had in Egypt.
So God, being merciful sent them meat in the form of quail. (God bless those little quail) but the Israelites rejoiced more at the meat with corruptible blood of this world than the manna from heaven.
If we endure it well, this time in the desert place, then the scales will fall off from our eyes and we will begin to see the inexpressible beauty of the red and purple mountains and abundance of provision and blessing. A land of water, wine and flowing milk and bread of such a kind. In this harsh climate, a new life begins to grow...things of plants and animals that have not been seen since the time of Noah and going back to Eden. The things of God are colours that cannot be described unless you come and see for yourself. When He shows a thing to you, you cannot unsee it. His Glory IS intelligence. So let us together Rejoice! Look up! Inspire each other to hope. Increase our faith and not give up on God.
We really are going somewhere and we really have to go through this. Think about this a moment...
You are living and a part of one of the most looked forward times, one that Father Adam prophesied of for His children (we must connect and become of his children) There is great reason to be hopeful and to sing and dance and praise and share these glad tidings.
There really is beauty all around, miracles and provision and moment of profound sacredness every day. If you look unto The Christ, and have taken His name upon you... then you ARE reborn, so take courage and continue onwards to fulfil what you came here to do, despite the shaking of the earth around you. Set aside the lust and temptations, fears and contentions and just be in His presence and be still and know He is God. Trust Him. Every tear is sacred and holy. He does wipe away those tears here and now as we cry out to Him and He will show you why, and who you are becoming in Him. It is all for a greater wisdom.
Labouring with Him is to be exceedingly glad, becoming a greater follower of righteousness despite the climate you are in.
If we can make it through this desert place together...because everyone is needed who wants to come along, and be permitted to enter the Land flowing with Milk and Honey, the Promised Land, the Return to Eden...or in our language, the blessings and further covenants to come in the accepted Temple of the Lord... you will be exceeding glad and grateful to have been tried through the heat of the wilderness.