The Desert of Judah
Read the heading of Psalms 63.
“A psalm of David, when he was in the Desert of Judah”
“The Desert of Judah”
Is there a desert in Judea?
What is Judea? Or Canaan?
It is the land which God Almighty gave to His people, the promise land of God.
What is the importance of that land?
Ezekiel 20:6 – “On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.”
Jeremiah 2:7 – “I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.”
Deuteronomy 11:11-12 – “But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12 It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God is continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.”
Look at the characteristics of that land:
A land God had searched out for them
A land flowing with milk and honey
The most beautiful of all lands
A fertile land
A land from which to eat its fruit and rich produce
A land of mountains and valleys
A land that drinks rain from heaven
A land on which the eyes of the LORD God are continually on
Out of the 1,970 million square miles of land and of 25,000-mile circumference of this planet earth, God chose a small piece of land about 18,650 square miles in size as His own.
Even in “His own land”, the “land of honey and milk”, God carefully placed a small desert.
Why there is a desert in such a blessed land?
We don’t understand.
What is a desert experience?
The desert stands for trouble, struggle, difficult times, pain, sickness, loss, debt, or any unexpected crisis.
Whatever our God does, he always does it perfectly, he does everything in His infinite wisdom, and there is no mistake in His work! He included a desert in His own land.
Philippians 1:29-30 – “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”
It will be so in the world, in family life, even in the church – every area of our life in this world.
But there is good news: there is no desert experience in heaven.
From Genesis to Revelation we see that God allowed the great men of God to go through certain deserts in their lives.
Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah
Even our blessed Lord Jesus Christ had to go through such an experience.
A desert in Judea is the will of God.
There are some longstanding questions like:
Why do the righteous suffer?
Why do unexpected things happen to God’s people?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
There is an answer for this in the scripture.
Romans 8: 28 – “And we know that God cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
But remember, all of Judea is not a desert - beyond that desert is a land of blessing!
We may not understand why unexpected things happen in our life, why bad things happen to good people, why God's people have to go through difficult situations, or why the righteous have to suffer, but believe that our Lord knows better than us.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 - “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Therefore, commit your ways to the Lord and cast your burden upon Him.
Psalm 37:5, 3-4 – “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Many times, it bothers us because we can’t accept the fact that a desert is part of Judea, a part of every believer’s life.
But all of Judea is not a desert, only a part. Just like a rose – even when we enjoy the beauty and the smell of a rose, we forget that there are thorns on that rose.
We have reason to thank God for it is the wilderness of Judea that we are in, and not the wilderness of sin.
David lost his palace, his throne, his crown, and his power for a time being for an experience in the desert in order to teach him the truth that all we see around is us vain and temporary; do not boast about anything we see around us.
Yet, there is something precious that David experienced in the desert – the presence of God.
Though there was a desert around him on every side, there was no desert in his heart.
Every devoted soul that has loved to see God in his house will be refreshed by visions of God in the wilderness of solitude, sorrow, sickness and death.
Many times, God’s blessings become the hindrance to our relationship with our God.
We are always after blessings, not the One who blesses. We go after healing, and forget the healer. We are always in need of deliverance, but do not care for the deliverer. God will not allow this kind of spirituality – He will mess up everything to get us back! We are more precious to God than what we possess.
Micah 6: 6-7 – “With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
But He needs your sincere heart
Proverbs 23: 26 – “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways,”
David learned a good lesson in the wilderness.
That is, the importance of his relationship with “My God”
He lost everything but the imperishable and unmovable possession in his life, “his loving God.”