Words in the Wilderness
I returned one year from a trip to Israel which was unlike any of my previous trips. I led our tour from Dan to Beersheba, meaning from one end of Israel to the other.
Dan, near the border of Lebanon, was once home to the rebellious Israelites. Beersheba, near the border of Egypt, was once home to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham declared an oath here. Isaac built an altar here. Jacob dreamed of a ladder to heaven shortly after leaving here.
The rich emerald forests of Dan witnessed the greatest idolatry in ancient Israel. But, the dry brown deserts of Beersheba witnessed the very presence of the Almighty. How was this possible?
On a jeep ride in the Negev, I discovered the answer. God speaks in the wilderness, and the Hebrew language supports this principle. The same Hebrew root word gives us both “wilderness” and “speak.”
The Hebrew word for wilderness is midbar. The Hebrew word for speak is dabar. Midbar comes from dabar, an audibly spoken word. Therefore, He speaks a word in the wilderness.
Those who struggled through dark trials, and yet received unexpected guidance, understand the principle. They sensed divine direction in the wilderness. They listened. He spoke.
If we are not hearing Him clearly in an area where we really need an answer, perhaps it is time to put aside the rich comforts of Dan, and seek the austere desert of Beersheba.
Published May 18, 2017