The Promised Land

Today, the land God gave as an inheritance to his people is often identified within the borders of the state of Israel even though the Promised Land encompasses much more territory. The beautiful, fruitful part of this blessed land inspires awe.

“Wild” Gazelle can run like the wind but they were not so inclined the day we visited them.

The entire state of Israel encompasses something less than 8,000 square miles and roughly half of its land mass is taken up by the stark and forbidding Negev Desert, some of which is better known as the Judean Wilderness.
It was near this point that David found King Saul in a cave where he cut off the hem of his garment.

These pictures of the wilderness bring to mind the 40 long days & nights that Jesus spent here consecrating Himself before His temptation & ministry.

Mark 1:
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

We read scripture like this so casually, until we see the place where this happened and remember that Jesus was a man, just as we are . . .but certainly not the same. It would have been an impressive man, indeed, to be able to make it in this wilderness for any length of time–wearing sandals and a robe! To be sure, this area of the land He made is not for the faint of heart.

And one develops new respect for John the Baptist who lived in a wilderness not far from here, eating a consistent diet of locusts and wild honey. And for the people who journeyed from their homes to hear him and be baptized.

In general, we know nothing of the hardships experienced by any of these. We have it too easy and that may explain why we often act as if the gospel has little value.

Admitting there is a lot of abundance and little wilderness of any kind in my life,