Saturday, May 7, 2011

"I did know thee in the wilderness....

Flatiron from Brown's Peak Saddle - Four Peaks WildernessEver since I shared this post a few days ago, being in the wilderness has been on my mind. I can relate to the feeling at times. So while I was thinking about it I pulled out the concordance and looked up references, and read up on the subject of the wilderness in the Bible. At that point I was reminded that Jesus had his own experience in the wilderness which is actually very encouraging and comforting; and made me think of these verses:

 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:15-16

Below I shared a few of the verses I found, then the story of Jesus in the wilderness from Matthew 4, along with some quotes from Matthew Henry. Believe it or not, I did restrain myself from copying and pasting more... my apologies on how long this post got. Thank you to everyone who actually reads through it:-). I hope you'll find it encouraging like I did.


"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?"
Song of Solomon 8:5


"O give thanks unto the LORD...To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever"
Psalm 136:1,16


"And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
Deuteronomy 8:2-3

Jesus in the Wilderness
                                                                  


Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty daysand forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."
Matthew 4:1-11

"This is a matter of comfort to all the saints....It is some comfort to us to think that Christ suffered, being tempted; for thus it appears that temptations, if not yielded to, are not sins, they are afflictions only, and such as may be pleased. And we have a High Priest who knows, by experience, what it is to be tempted, and who therefore is the more tenderly touch with the feelings of our infirmities in an hour of temptation.
 
He was ready to reply to it  and, to set us an example, he appealed to what was written in the law; and he says this to Satan, taking it for granted that he knew well enough what was written...This method we must take when at any time we are tempted to sin; resist and repel the temptation with, It is written. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, the only offensive weapon in all the Christian armory; and we may say of it as David of Goliath's sword, None is like that in our spiritual conflicts.

This is here quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 where the reason given why God fed the Israelites with manna is, because he would teach them that man shall not live by bread alone. This Christ applies to his own case... Israel was then in a wilderness, Christ was so now, perhaps the same wilderness.

As in our great abundance we must not think to live without God, so in our greatest straits we must learn to live upon God; and when the fig-tree does not blossom, and the field yields no meat, when all ordinary means of succour and support are cut off, yet then we must rejoice in the Lord; then we must not think to command what we will, though contrary to his command, but must humbly pray for what he thinks fit to give us, and be thankful for the bread of our allowance, though it be a short allowance. Let us learn of Christ here to be at God's finding, rather than at our own; and not to take any irregular courses for our supply, when our wants are ever so pressing. Jehovah-jireh; some way or other the Lord will provide.

We have here the end and issue of this combat in verse 11.Though the children of God may be exercised with many and great temptations, yet God will not suffer them to be tempted above the strength which either they have, or he will put into them. It is but for a season that they are in heaviness, through manifold temptations.

Christ was thus succoured after the temptation..for our encouragement to trust in him; for as he knew, by experience, what it was to suffer, being tempted, and how hard that was, so he knew what it was to be succoured, being tempted, and how comfortable that was; and therefore we may expect, not only that he will sympathize with his tempted people, but that he will come in with seasonable relief to them."
Matthew Henry 









2 comments:

  1. What a great post! It really is such a comforting and encouraging story!

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1