Day 12

The Lord Provides in the Wilderness

from the Exodus reading plan


Exodus 15:22-27, Exodus 16:1-36, Deuteronomy 8:3, John 6:47-51, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5

BY Oghosa Iyamu

As I ponder today’s title, “The Lord Provides in the Wilderness,” I can hear the subtle whispers of my heart, exposing what’s true: I want God and His provision, but I don’t want wilderness seasons for me or for those I love. This is because, when I consider wilderness seasons, I only perceive a lack. I see no room for an abundant harvest.

But what if seasons that feel barren are birthing the very characteristics that make us more like Jesus? What if our wilderness brings forth a kind of fruit that the barren ground of our insecurities and unanswered questions couldn’t possibly imagine? What if our perceived lack leads us to a greater dependence on God’s provision? Isn’t that the best place to be? Postured to receive God’s provision and not my own. 

As unexpected wilderness seasons have arrived, so has the much needed reorientation of my theology—both what I perceive and what I believe about God and His provision. And I can’t help but wonder, as I lean closely into today’s narrative, if maybe the Israelites’ struggle looked much like mine—like ours.  

Today’s passage offers you and I the same invitation in our wanderings that was presented to the Israelites thousands of years ago—to turn our gaze and look to Him, the One who provides not just material substance but His sustaining grace, even in the dry and weary wilderness. 

As Aaron was speaking to the entire Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and there in a cloud the LORD’s glory appeared.
 —Exodus 16:10

The radiant glory and abundant provision of the Lord appeared even in the gloomy darkness of the wilderness. Day after day, month after month, year after year, the Israelites were positioned to trust God—to look upon His manifest glory through the miraculous rain of bread from heaven day by day (Deuteronomy 8:3). In Egypt, they’d had to work tirelessly to earn their bread, but God brought them to a wilderness to remind them their daily abundance comes only through Him. They could not earn it, and they could not live off yesterday’s manna nor faith. God’s people were called to trust Him daily as they partook of the daily bread. If only they had continued to fix their gaze and looked to Him in every circumstance (1Corinthians 10:1–5). And if only we would fix our gaze and look to Him. 

In our wilderness do we turn our gaze and look to God’s provision for us, Jesus Christ, the bread of life—the more sufficient and sustainable bread that came from heaven? Do we perceive this daily abundance, even in dry, barren seasons? Behold, Jesus Christ, our sacrificial provision for all our days!

And we, like the Israelites, don’t have to earn it, but we do have to bring our trust daily, believing that the Lord provides in our wilderness, causing the barren ground of our souls to produce eternal, abundant fruitfulness through the Spirit.

Post Comments (40)

40 thoughts on "The Lord Provides in the Wilderness"

  1. Anita J says:

    ❤️

  2. Jacquelyn Karel says:

    This is speaking directly to my heart this morning. I have a two month old son and we have been struggling with breastfeeding. This passage and devotional remind me and convict me to trust God with daily provision for my son.

  3. Abbie Evans says:

    “But what if seasons that feel barren are birthing the very characteristics that make us more like Jesus?

    What if our wilderness brings forth a kind of fruit that the barren ground of our insecurities and unanswered questions couldn’t possibly imagine? What if our perceived lack leads us to a greater dependence on Gods provision? Isn’t that the best place to be? Postured to receive Gods provision and not my own.”

    This quote from the devotional hit so real in my life and how good God is through season of wilderness and barrenness. September 2021 I was almost 7 weeks pregnant when they discovered my baby had implanted in my right fallopian tube. One surgery later I was left with one fallopian tube and no baby. we had issues conceiving in the fist place so I was felt with this feeling of barrenness that I thought would never end. God’s provision, His love, His grace, His mercy is what saved me. I am not the same woman I was before my loss. God took my season and truly refined my spiritual journey and brought me closer to Him. I don’t understand why I had to endure that loss but I do know the blessings that have come forth since that day could have only come through a season of wilderness. Through the grace of God I am now 11 weeks pregnant with no medical intervention to conceive. It was a true miracle that can be explained only by this: God. Thank you Lord for the seasons of refining. Thank you for never leaving my side.

  4. Heather Williams says:

    I definitely see myself in the Israelites of this passage. I would be extremely tempted to complain and provoke self-pity in the times of waiting and wandering and I would definitely have a difficult time with self-control when gathering the manna each day. These are two strongholds that I can see playing a part in my life as recently as yesterday!
    But we are called to trust the Lord in the wilderness. To have self-control over the indulgences that we can control and to live in the moment of trial, knowing that God is great and he will guide us through the uncertainty and risk we feel.
    Please pray for me to live this out as I start my first year of teaching and build my marriage.

  5. Heather Williams says:

    I definitely see myself in the Israelites of this passage. I would be extremely tempted to complain and provoke self-pity in the times of waiting and wandering and I would definitely have a difficult time with self-control when gathering the manna each day. These are two strongholds that I can see playing a part in my life as recently as yesterday!
    But we are called to trust the Lord in the wilderness. To have self-control over the indulgences that we can control and to live in the moment of trial, knowing that God is great and he will guide us through the uncertainty and risk we feel.

  6. Heather Williams says:

    I definitely see myself in the Israelites of this passage. I would be extremely tempted to complain and provoke self-pity in the times of waiting and wandering and I would definitely have a difficult time with self-control when gathering the manna each day. These are two strongholds that I can see playing a part in my life as recently as yesterday!

  7. Terri Baldwin says:

    Jesus Christ is our bread of life——Believe! And have eternal life in God’s Eternal Kingdom. Jesus gave His flesh for the life of the world.

  8. Amy EB says:

    However much they needed, everyone was satisfied with the manna. The Lord’s provision was so abundant that all their needs were met everyday. The bread was provided for them they just had to gather it. Even in a barren wilderness, the Lord provided, the people just had to turn to Him.

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