I am a big fan of TV where people have to survive in the wilderness. Whether it be survivalists, who have to find food and construct a shelter out of whatever they find or people who build off of the grid, living sustained in the wilderness is intriguing to me. They have made it reality TV today, but not too long ago people did this for real. Before electricity or indoor plumbing people had to homestead a piece of land and make a go of it. Nehemiah brings up how the Israelites were sustained in the wilderness.
For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen. For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.
Sustained in the Wilderness
God’s provision and patience are truly amazing. There is story after story in the Bible of how he provided miraculously for his people. Nehemiah is using this as an example of what God will do for those who obey. He is also reminding them that if they don’t obey they will wind up exactly where they are right now, a city that has been reduced to rubbish.
God provided for Israel in the desert for 40 years, and their clothes or their sandals did not wear out. He was patient with them and endured their sin and disobedience over that time. God was long-suffering with the Jews, and he is patient with us as well. He gives us his Word to guide us, uses pastors to explain the Bible and to warn us, and he sends loving people into our lives to remind us. The question we need to ask ourselves is: “Are we listening?”
Walk Daily With Gratitude
After 40 of years of God’s incredible provision and patience the Israelites still didn’t listen. In their sin and idolatry, they had become tone deaf. That is a danger we run as well. We need to understand that God is doing the same thing in our lives. He is providing for us and at the same time being patient with us. Listen to his word and to those who are instructing you. If you are convicted of an area that needs to change go to him today and beg for forgiveness of your sins and selfishness. Thank Him for his provision and patience in your life. Walk Daily with the gratitude of a savior who is there for us.