• “Our one great hindrance to fuller blessing is something along with God in our heart” (A. Bonar). Remove every idol from my heart.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Chapter 3. God’s Glory in the Wilderness

(From the book ‘A Basket of Summer Fruit‘ by Susannah Spurgeon)

“And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.” Exodus 16:10.

A friend, writing to me from China, quoted part of this passage as having brought much comfort and blessing to him in a time of trial and difficulty. On turning to my Bible, I discovered that the context indicated that the appearance of the Lord, on that particular occasion, was rather matter for fear than for joy, for the people had grievously sinned, and could expect only the just punishment of their offences. But my friend, being not under the law, but under grace, did rightly, I think, in eating the honey out of this dead lion. For him, the cloud-enveloped glory could mean only deliverance, safety, and peace.

But from what an unexpected quarter the glorious vision came! “They looked toward the wilderness.” Not a cheering prospect, surely! Not a likely spot to which one’s eyes would naturally turn for a revelation of the Divine presence! A solitary place, without habitation, or fruitfulness, or beauty; a waste and arid land, where the sun smites by day, and the moon by night; a place where the wild beasts meet, and dragons and owls dwell in safety. Yet such a desert does God choose, in which to reveal Himself; and the watcher sees, amid all this desolation and loneliness, nothing less than “the glory of the Lord.”

It is marvelous how full God’s Words are, of blessed possibilities of unfolding and disclosure. However dark and indistinct a passage may at first sight appear to be, it will glow as with hidden fire when the Spirit of the Lord breathes upon it, and the eyes of faith and desire look closely into its depths. You have, doubtless, known the joy of this insight, dear reader. A text you may have read hundreds of times without noticing anything special about it, suddenly becomes alive, as it were, for you, and speaks to your heart, as the very voice of God Himself!

My correspondent had this delightful experience with the verse we are considering; and do you wonder at it? Cannot you make it your own?

Look into your past life, and see whether you cannot recall many times when you “looked toward” some wilderness of trial, or sorrow, or affliction, which lay directly in your pathway, but without the expectation of seeing “the glory of the Lord” there. Everything else you saw—the darkness, and the discomfort, and the danger—and you feared exceedingly.

Yet, has it not been true that, where and when you most needed Him, your blessed God has come to you; and, before long, your dreary desert has “blossomed as the rose!”

Then, too, with what infinite compassion for our weakness does He manifest Himself! His unveiled glory would strike us with blindness; so He makes it appear “in a cloud.” With tenderest condescension, He deigns to enwrap His splendor in a misty veil of light, that the brightness of His presence may shine through, and yet not dazzle us.

Do not fear to look toward the wilderness, then, if your God has put you there; for here are the “goings forth” of the Lord from of old, and even thus does He give “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”


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  • “They only did what God permitted them to do, which enabled me always to keep God in sight… When we suffer, we should always remember that God inflicts the blow. Wicked men, it is true, are not infrequently His instruments; and the fact does not diminish, but simply develops their wickedness. But when we are so mentally disposed that we love the strokes we suffer, regarding them as coming from God, and as expressions of what He sees best for us, we are then in the proper state to look forgivingly and kindly upon the subordinate instrument which He permits to smite us.” – Madame Guyon

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Verse of the Day

[Jesus a Third Time Predicts His Death and Resurrection] Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” — Matthew 20: 17-19 (NKJV)

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