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 (42)

42 thoughts on "The Lord Provides in the Wilderness"

  1. Marina Sayadian says:

    So very true!

  2. Emily Mitchell says:

    Love this! Really needed this encouragement today. Thank you!

  3. Rhonda J. says:

    Good Morning She’s, Thank you for all the good insights! The devotional was spot on and so relevant! It’s crazy how the whole old testament is the constant “wilderness” (hardships- failing trust and grumbling, turning from God) to the “glory” (provision and saving, turning to Him). He IS Always there, unmoving and probably with a big eye roll!) Think of your kids how from toddlers to young adults, we see that same cycle as parents. We allow them to fall from a young age, as to learn and grow, but we are there ready to catch them, love them, encourage and lead them.

    The song “Same God” is just such an anthem for the Almighty God, that He was there for the Old Testament greats and He is still our Miracle God today! Hope you can cling to that in your wilderness.

  4. Mari V says:

    Good morning She’s! My beautiful sisters all over the world! My apologies ahead of time for my repetitiveness. Five years ago this week, most of you here know I made the  hardest decision of my life. And even then I didn’t say anything here for a couple of months later. I left a 20+ year marriage as it became unsafe for my children and I. I left what I was used to into the unknown.. The good thing is I was able to flee to a safe place. The home I grew up in. My kids and I. God has provided for every single need! Sometimes there is abundance and sometimes there is not but we always have what we need. My God, Jehovah Jireh, my provider, continues to be faithful. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m stepping out in faith and attempting to take a college course as I really need to move up to continue to provide for my family. Of course knowing that my God is the ultimate Provider!

  5. Danielle B says:

    God is our provider, even in what we don’t know that we need. It is helpful to take time to stop and think about the many ways he has provided in my life, so in my wilderness seasons I can remember and continue to trust Him rather than grumble and complain. There has been manna and sweet water. There has been shelter and protection. Even more wonderful there has been the gift of my salvation.

  6. Heidi says:

    The thing is this- we will be in times of wilderness in our lives- that’s life in a broken world. The question is, what will my posture be and when the wilderness is behind me will it have been in vain or will I have a deeper, more satisfying understanding of my Savior and God? Will I be the same person I was “pre-wilderness”, only with some bitterness thrown in because “how dare God allow that for me?”, or will I be an even greater force for His Kingdom to be ushered into this world for the lost and hurting who are searching..?
    Honestly, the choice is ours…

  7. Aimee D-R says:

    Father, almighty, ultimate creator of life, reward my faith, forgive my doubt. In Jesus name, Amen

  8. Kenya Rafferty says:

    I love the concept of the Manna representing Jesus. Because there is so much simplicity in the bread – that is all God said they needed – and Jesus is the same. He is all we need.

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