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A New Direction

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    Deuteronomy 2:1-7 A New Direction

Israel God’s Chosen People:

Brought out of slavery after 450 years of slavery, oppression

Being groomed to be what God wanted them to be

Coming out they began to complain that it was better to stay in Egypt.

Sometimes we say that about our own salvation. “I was doing better in the world than I am doing now in the church.” That’s a lie. I don’t care what your struggles are being saved or even with the church you are still better off with God than without God. He that puts his hand to the plow and takes it back is not fit for the Kingdom.

wilderness, a desolate or deserted area devoid of civilization. One Hebrew word above all others is used for ‘wilderness,’ or ‘desert,’ in the ot: midbar, indicating both ‘that which is desolate and deserted’ and ‘that which is beyond,’ i.e., beyond the limits of settlement and therefore of government control, perceived by both city dwellers and villagers as being essentially disorderly and dangerous, the home of wild beasts and savage wandering tribes. In time of war or repression refugees would flee to the midbar (Isa. 21:13-15; cf. Rev. 12:6, 14); ‘greatly distressed…enraged…[they] will curse their king and their God’ (Isa. 8:21-22). But only too often they would find ‘no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them’ (Ps. 107:4-5).

Certainly, the primary Israelite experience was that of escaping from Egypt through the desolate wastes of Sinai and of entering there into covenant with Yahweh, but they remembered how they hated the wilderness wanderings and had no desire at all to return (Exod. 15:22-25; 16:3; Pss. 78:40; 95:8). It remained for them always ‘the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water’ (Deut. 8:15). Midbar was for them, as ‘wilderness’ was originally in English, the wild, alarming wasteland, where men and women find themselves bewildered and disoriented.

Although often equated with the drought-stricken desert (Heb. yeshimon; Deut. 32:10; Ps. 106:14), the wilderness (midbar) included poor steppeland, e.g., the area surrounding the oasis of Damascus (1 Kings 19:15), and could include the marginal cultivated land on the Transjordan plateau (Num. 21:13; Deut. 4:43), as well as the pastureland east of Bethlehem, where in the Christmas story shepherds were ‘keeping watch over their flock’ (Luke 2:8), as David had done centuries before them (1 Sam. 17:28). It could comprise also tangled thickets and scrub, such as the ‘thorns’ and ‘briers’ of the wilderness near Succoth in the Jordan Valley (Judg. 8:7, 16). Wilderness (midbar) in fact merged into wooded areas (Heb. ya‘ar), which is normally translated ‘forest,’ and both were perceived by the settled Israelites as dangerous trackless country where one could rapidly become lost or be attacked by wild beasts. In fact, the two are equated in Ezek. 34:25 when God promises, ‘I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness [midbar] and sleep in the woods [ya‘ar].’ An even more impressive parallel may be found in Isa. 32:15, where wilderness replaces the thickly forested ‘Lebanon’ of Isa. 29:17. They both belonged to the savage, ill-controlled regions beyond the cultivated farmlands. To the north and west lay the woods; to the south and east the wilderness.

nt writers held similar opinions (Heb. 11:37-38), viewing ‘waterless places’ as the natural habitat of evil spirits (Luke 11:24; see Isa. 34:14). It was therefore appropriate that it was in the desert that Jesus was tempted by Satan to abandon his vocation of suffering Son of God (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). When Jesus fed the multitudes in the wilderness (e.g., Mark 8:4), he showed he was able to overcome its dangers, both physical and supernatural. Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist, had also appeared in the wilderness with his message of repentance (Mark 1:4), thus reminding Israel of its first days as chosen people in the desert of Sinai. The fact that John performed a baptism indicates that the wilderness was not a waterless stretch of sand, but rather a desolate area where water was nevertheless available, perhaps somewhere in the Jordan Valley. The remaining nt references to wilderness are principally in contexts where Israel’s period of wilderness wandering is at issue (e.g., John 3:14; Acts 7:36; 1 Cor. 10:5). See also Bethlehem; Desert; Sinai, Succoth.     D.B./P.J.A.


Wilderness (Twelve Spies went to spy out the land) 2 came back with a good report. They had disobeyed God by refusing to trust God to bring them into the place that God was calling them to go in. Disobeying God can cause us to miss our appointed time for destiny and wander around for years without getting everything that God has for me.

The aspect was not only in service but in every area of ones life God would be consulted. How many decisions have you made this past week that you consulted God on or sought direction from his Holy Spirit?  I recognized that Andre was created for God, not God for Andre. Ask somebody, Is God in your business?

1.      I need him in my marriage

2.      I need him with my children

3.      I need him on my job

4.      I need him in my school

5.      I even need him in the church

God took care of all of their needs:

Physical needs (food; shelter, clothing manna, quail, water)

Social (gave them a system of worship and how to respect each other)

Security needs (He fought for them over their enemies)

Psychological Needs (Purpose) by saying I am your God and you are my people.

System Worship – to bow down or to prostrate oneself before God.

Through you all of the other nations would be blessed. However, they started acting like everybody else. God told them I brought out of Egypt and I don’t want you to act like them and the place where you are going I don’t need you to act like them either. What I am doing now in this wilderness experience is grooming you to be holy as I am holy. When you get in your promise land you are going to have to fight to stay there.

When you get to your promise land you don’t ever forget who brought you out.

The church today:

·        Acts more like the world than the world.

·        The church has compromised itself for more money for individuals than taking care of each other; people won’t give to the church. They would rather give to the lottery than the church

·        The church has decided to be like taskmasters/slave owners rather than people of love/servants of God. Those that are strong aught to bear the infirmities of the weak. In other words we should be telling each other you going to make it instead of recording our issues and our faults.

Give a person a little position and some people just go off. I am the president, I am the pastor, I Rev such and such, and I am the CEO of such and such. The worst person to follow is a dictator.

Because of sin, fear and outright rebellion God caused them to circle around a mountain for 40 years. Can you imagine going over the same situation over and over for 40 years. We do it today in our homes, jobs and families.

Fear is a debilitating condition that will cause you to stop in your tracks. Fear is an unpleasant strong emotion caused by the expectation or awareness of danger; anxious concern. Fear got so bad with them until in Deut. 1:27 until they said that the Lord hates us that is why he brought us out to Egypt t hand us over to the Amorites to kill us.

Be Not Afraid the Lord is with you. Fret not thyself because of evil doers. The Lord is my rock and my salvation whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life whom shall I be afraid.

Fear and Faith can’t go together. Fear is an enemy of faith. How do I conquer fear? Trust and Obey.

God wanted his people to show reverence to him not to be overwhelmed by circumstances, by problems.

We must settle this issue that before we can move into the promises of God, either we are going to let God be God in our lives or we are going to be the dictators of our lives.

Either we are going to let this be God’s house or it will become our own house.

Either we are going to let our families be God centered or we

Arguing over the same stuff everyday- You are going in a circle

Still in debt and never having anything- Going in a circle

Going to work, going to church and going home.

Same oh, Same Oh.

Time to Break the Cycle.  Break the cycle of abuse, poverty, anger, frustration, unemployment, bad credit

Where is the abundant life?

Abundant life is in faith and obedience to God. He tells them you have circled this mountain long enough go northward. I am breaking the cycle.

New Direction: Guidance to my destination

                        Pathway to where I need to go

                         Steps ordered by the Lord

                        Light out of my dark path

                        Vision to my goals and purpose

God said go north, Where is North? North is Up. Get up and Go up higher.

Getting up out of this poverty

Getting up out of this abuse

Getting up out of this depression

Getting up out of the prison

Getting up out of this wilderness

How did you feel when you come out of the wilderness?

I came out shouting.

I came out singing

I came out praising his name

I came out running.

Leaning on the Lord. Are you Leaning on the Lord who died on Calvary?

I am headed in a new direction. No higher plane I have found, Lord plant my feet on higher ground.


ot Old Testament

Heb. Hebrew

nt New Testament

D.B. Denis Baly, BA. Hons. Geog.; Emeritus Professor of Religion; Kenyon College; Gambier, Ohio

P.J.A. Paul J. Achtemeier, Th.D.; Jackson Professor of Biblical Interpretation; Union Theological Seminary; Richmond, Virginia

[1]Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, P., & Society of Biblical Literature. 1985. Harper's Bible dictionary. Includes index. (1st ed.). Harper & Row: San Francisco

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