The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness!
“The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness! There’s no question, about it!!!”> Opening Prayer: “Good” Lord Jesus, today, we come before Your throne, of grace and favor. We pray for Your enlightenment, and illumination, as we get to venture and engage, in studying Your words. We commit this work to You, and we earnestly pray, for Your inspiration, as we look up to You, in everything we say, or do. Let Your very words, minister into our lives, and continually transform, and modify our ways, that we may be found, zealous for Your cause, and totally surrendered, to Your very will. All this we ask, in Your precious Name, dear Lord Jesus. Amen! > Title: “The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness! There’s no question, about it!!!”
> What, is a wilderness? In the context of the wilderness of Paran, where most of the Israelite wanderings/travels, were held and done ( back in the Old Testament times ), a wilderness is a
dry/parched/scorched/arid and uncultivated, uninhabited land. It may be interchangeably used with desert, but strictly using the term, it is a wasteland, containing mostly gravel, while a desert is a wasteland, containing mostly sand. A wilderness has no vegetation/plants, except for tropical trees, like acacia ( shittim ).
> Note: The entire Holy Scriptures or the Bible, as well as all the information in the world, can only be interpreted/explained/given meaning/understood: 1. Literally 2. Figuratively 3. Both Literally and Figuratively
> The interpretation is: 1. Literal– when the meaning of the word or phrase/statement, is its word for word equivalent; “verbatim”; 2. Figurative– when the meaning of the word or phrase/statement, is not its word for word equivalent; “non- verbatim”; This utilizes figures of speech. 3. Both Literal & Figurative– when the meaning of the word or phrase/statement is an interplay of both, word for word and not word for word equivalent; both “verbatim” and “non- verbatim”;
> For example, if I say, that, “King Solomon has a big head!”: 1. The Literal meaning would be, that “The head of King Solomon is enlarged”, or that, “The head of King Solomon is beyond the normal size.” 2. The possible Figurative meanings would be, that “King Solomon is wise or intelligent” or that, “King Solomon is conceited.” 3. An interplay of both the Literal and Figurative meanings would be, that “The head of King Solomon is not only beyond the normal size”, but also, that, either “King Solomon is wise/intelligent”, or “conceited/haughty/arrogant”.
> Also note, that if you don’t know, the distinction between a literal & a figurative meaning, the way you would get to understand/interpret/give meaning to information, would be distorted, faulty and inappropriate. That goes true, for the Bible, or for any information in the world, for that matter. The literal interpretation & the use of figures of speech should be properly observed.
> The word “Figurative” may be rendered synonymous with the word “Metaphorical” or “Allegorical” or “Symbolical” or “Representational” or “Emblematic”. We can utilize the acrostics/acronym/mnemonic ( FMAS– RE ) for the purpose of recall. To simplify matters, whenever we mean “Figurative”, let’s confine ourselves to the word “Symbolical”. The word “Symbolical” would be quite, self- explanatory.
> So, with the Title of my message “The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness! There’s no question, about it!!!”, rendered in the figurative or symbolical way, now, we can restate it, clearly this way, “It is sure/certain, the Lord Jesus can provide food/sustain life in a place/environment, not suitable/impossible to sustain life.”
> Let us now mention, several instances, from the Bible:
- The miracle of the 5 loaves & the 2 fishes– ( Luke 9:10-17; Matthew 14:13-21 ); Here, the Lord Jesus was in a certain place, and His disciples, had just gone to Him. As they approached Jesus, He went with them in a desert place, where a great multitude, followed them. Jesus was moved, with compassion, for the people, and He taught them, about the Kingdom of God. Also, He healed all the sick people, in the multitude. When evening approached, the twelve disciples of Jesus came to Him, and told Him, to send the multitude away, into the villages, so they can buy food, for themselves. But Jesus commanded His disciples, to feed the people. His disciples then told Him, they don’t have food, to give to the multitude, except for 5 loaves of bread & 2 fishes. So, Jesus commanded the multitude to sit, and He took the 5 loaves of bread, and the 2 fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed it, and began to break the bread and the fishes, and handing it over to His disciples, the disciples gave the same, to the people. And so, everybody ate to the full, and the left over were gathered, being 12 baskets full. And all that had eaten, were about 5,000 men, beside women and children. What a miracle!!! True enough, “It is sure/certain, the Lord Jesus can provide food/sustain life in a place/environment, not suitable/impossible to sustain life.” That which is small/inadequate, Jesus can afford to bless and multiply, exceedingly, in abundance, when handed over, into His hands.
- The miracle of the 7 loaves and a few little fishes– ( Matthew 15:29-38; Mark 8:1-9 ); On another occasion, Jesus had gone, somewhere nearby, the sea of Galilee, together with His disciples, and they went into a mountain, where Jesus sat. And great multitudes followed Him, with many sick people, like the lame, the blind, the maimed/crippled/disabled and the dumb/mute. And Jesus healed them all, insomuch that the multitude, were so amazed/awestruck/surprised/astonished /astounded, and greatly wondered, glorifying the God of Israel. And Jesus called His disciples, saying that He has compassion/mercy/pity on the people, because they had already continued with Jesus for 3 days, and have nothing to eat. And Jesus was not willing, to send them away fasting, since they all might faint, in the way. But His disciples asked Him, where they could secure so much food, for the people, in such a wilderness. Then Jesus asked His disciples, how much food they have. And they said, they have only 7 loaves, and a few, little fishes. So Jesus took the bread and the fishes, and gave thanks, and blessed the food. Then, He broke the same, and gave it to His disciples, and the disciples, to the multitudes. And everybody ate to the full, being 4,000 men, beside women and children. And there were left of the food, 7 baskets full. Another miraculous display, from the very hands, of Jesus! Indeed, “It is sure/certain, the Lord Jesus can provide food/sustain life, in a place/environment, not suitable/impossible to sustain life.” At the very hands of Jesus, that which is few, can be rendered, exceedingly abundant!!! Give what you have to Jesus, and the “Good” Lord Jesus, will multiply it in abundance, to the full, ‘til it overflows. Invest/spend it all, for Jesus, and you will see, His miraculous provisions. The “Good” Lord Jesus has given you and me, and all of us, skills and talents, and wisdom and understanding, and resources, that we can utilize/use up/spend/exhaust/consume, for His glory and honor, and in His service. If we get to do so, whatever we invest/spend for Him, He will surely, and certainly multiply. Then, we will be more skillful, more talented, wiser, with better understanding, and with much resources, for we spent it all, for Jesus.
> Psalm 77:11-12 declare, “I will remember, the works of the Lord: surely I will remember, Thy wonders of old. I will meditate/reflect/ponder/contemplate, also of all Thy work, and talk, of Thy doings.”
Ø –>Let us now consider, the account in Numbers 11:4-35. Let’s entitle it, “The Israelites, were given flesh to eat”. Here, the Israelites, about 600,000 footmen, were on their 2nd year, after they had left the land of Egypt ( by way of the parted Red Sea ), where they had been held in bondage, for 430 years. At about this time, the Israelites were in the wilderness of the Lord’s mount, being Sinai/Horeb. So, the Lord Jesus ( Hebrews 11:24-26; I Corinthians 10:1-10 ), guiding the Israelites by a pillar of cloud during the day, and by a pillar of fire during the night, instructed them to go, on a 3 days journey, into the wilderness of Paran. As they reached the place, the Israelites complained, about having no food, except for the manna, that the Lord Jesus had been supplying them, throughout all their journeys. Most of the people of Israel were complaining and crying, for having no flesh/meat to eat. They also recalled the days, when they were in Egypt, how they could freely eat fish, and cucumbers, and melons, and leeks, and onions, and garlic. And they were murmuring, and saying against God, they were better off, in Egypt. Also, Moses was displeased, saying to Jesus, why he had to be burdened with all the cares and concerns of the Israelites. He also asked the Lord Jesus, where he could get flesh, to feed the 600,000 Israelites, with meat. Consequently, the Lord Jesus told Moses, He is going to provide the Israelites, flesh to eat. So, He instructed Moses to purify or sanctify the people, against tomorrow, for on the succeeding days to come, the Lord Jesus will provide them flesh/meat to eat, not for one day, or two days, or 5 or 10 days, or 20 days, but, for a whole month. Somehow, Moses got troubled, for he couldn’t reconcile, how 600,000 people, could be fed with flesh/meat for 1 month, in the wilderness. He had to ask the Lord Jesus, “Lord, where are we going to secure meat/flesh, to feed all these multitude? Shall the flocks and the herds be slain/slaughtered, to suffice the people? Shall all the fish of the sea be caught, to feed all these people?” Moses can’t afford, to reconcile issues, in his mind. He cannot conceive or grasp the thought, that 600,000 people, can be fed in the wilderness, with flesh/meat! But the Lord Jesus had to assure him, that His hand, cannot be limited, by impossibilities. He is God, after all! He promised to provide meat bountifully, for the Israelites. Subsequently, there went forth a strong wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, into the camp of the Israelites, so that the camp of the Israelites, flooded with quails, about 3 feet high, and about a day’s journey, on the one side of the camp, and another day’s journey, on the other side. And the people gathered flesh, as much, as they want. What an outstanding miracle!!! How can innumerable quails, come forth from the sea? Quails are land animals, not sea creatures! Things so miraculous and inconceivable, Jesus can make, very much possible. Truly, He is able, to do exceeding abundantly, above all, that we ask or think ( Ephesians 3:20 ). “It is sure/certain, the Lord Jesus can provide food/sustain life, in a place/environment, not suitable/impossible to sustain life.”
Ø –>Lastly, let us consider what was reckoned in Psalm 78:10-31. Here, the Psalmist was accounting all the mighty works, that the Lord Jesus had done, for the Israelites, in the days of old. They had been held in bondage, and hard labor, by the ruthless and wicked Egyptians, for more than, 4 centuries. Consequently, the Lord Jesus had pity on them, and drove and led them out, of the land of Egypt, with His mighty power, and outstretched arm. He sent terrible plagues and great punishments to the Egyptians, to set His people ( the Israelites ), free. He parted the Red Sea, and saw the Israelites through, as He gathered the waters, into 2 great heaps. He commanded the waters to gush out of the rocks, like streams or rivers of water, as His people traveled in the desert and in the wilderness. He led them in a pillar of cloud, during the day, so that they won’t get scorched, by the heat of the sun, and in a pillar of fire, during the night, so that they won’t wander, as they get on to travel, throughout all, those 40 years. 40 years, He supplied them with manna, until their succeeding generations, were entered into the land of Canaan/Jericho. Yet, the Israelites didn’t remember the Lord Jesus Christ, their God, and provoked Him much with their froward/perverse/disobedient, and opposed ways. They murmured against their God, and complained much, and despised Him. They even flattered Him with their words, and ridiculed/insulted/ scorned Him, saying, “Behold, He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can He give bread also? Can He provide flesh, for His people? Can God furnish a table, in the wilderness?” Because of all these, the Lord Jesus Christ’s wrath/fury/indignation/anger was kindled against His people, and though He supplied flesh/meat for them in abundance, yet, He plagued them much, and consumed/devoured almost all of them, in the wilderness, and in the desert. Only their wives and their children, and Joshua and Caleb, entered into, the Promise land ( a land which floweth, with milk and honey, and, an exceeding good land ). True to His words, and exceedingly great in power, and wisdom ( I Corinthians 1:24 ), “The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness! There’s no question, about it!!!”
> Micah 6:8 declares, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly, with thy God.” It is unjust to be unfaithful, to the faithful God! It is unjust to be disobedient, to a loving God! It is unjust, not to reverence/respect/honor, the Lord Jesus Christ!!! It is not right, to be implacable/cruel/ruthless, for the Jesus we serve, abounds in compassion. It is inappropriate, to walk in pride/arrogance/haughtiness, for the Lord Jesus we follow, is meek/lowly/humble. And away from Him, we won’t thrive/succeed/prosper.
> The Lord Jesus is saying in John 15:4, 5 & 7, “Abide/remain/linger/stay/dwell in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide/stay in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide/dwell/reside/settle, in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth/dwells/resides/stays in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for away from/apart from/without/outside Me, ye can do, nothing. If ye abide/stay in Me, and my words abide/stay in you, ye shall ask what ye will/aspire/desire, and it shall be done, unto you.” True enough, “in” Jesus, we shall not lack, for “in” Jesus, we have, everything we need ( Psalm 23:1 ).
> The Psalmist sings in Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily/truly/surely, thou shalt be fed.” He continues further in verse 4, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and He shall give thee, the desires/requests/ petitions /supplications/pleadings/appeals/aspirations/interests/fascinations/wishes, of thine heart.” The song gets better and better, for come verse 5, the Psalmist had to sing, “Commit/ dedicate/surrender/yield, thy way unto the LORD; trust/rest/rely, also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass/He, shall make it happen.” Going further with his beautiful song, the Psalmist, now sings with gusto, in verse 6, “And He ( the LORD ), shall bring forth/reveal/disclose/expose/manifest/exhibit/show, thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment, as the noonday.” The song goes along, verse 7, “Rest in/rely on/lean on the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself/be not troubled/be not bothered/be not upset/be not disappointed/be not dismayed/be not displeased/be not offended because of him, who prospereth in his way, because of the man, who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Why? Why shouldn’t we be upset/offeded, when the wicked make, their wicked devices to happen, and when they get to prosper/succeed, in their way? Answer: For they shall soon, be cut down like the grass, and wither, as the green herb ( Psalm 37:2 ). For surely, they have an end, and the expectation of the righteous/upright, shall happen, or come to pass ( Proverbs 23:18 ). Never ever forget, that all things work together for good, to them that love God, being those who are called, according to His purpose ( Romans 8:28 ).
> In Deuteronomy 23:6, Moses was warning the Israelites, concerning the wealthy or the prosperous pagans, or ungodly nations or people, that were and are, around them. He was telling the Israelites, not to desire, these people’s affluence and tranquility, saying, “Thou shalt not seek their peace, nor their prosperity, all thy days, forever.” The Lord Jesus has His own means and ways, of prospering His people, and giving them peace. It’s a totally different peace and prosperity, from that, of the nations of the world. And that’s why, Jesus had to say, in John 14:27 & 10:10B, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. … for I am come, that you might have life, and that you might have it more, abundantly.”
> Note: If we are going to be faithful, and obedient to the Lord Jesus, all the days of our lives, the “Good” Lord Jesus will make our lives, more and more beautiful, for His glory, and honor.
> On the one hand, we may choose to doubt, and consequently stop, from believing the “Good” Lord Jesus, for His great, and beautiful, and majestic, and the best, and precious promises, for His faithful, and obedient servants. But the repercussions, won’t be nice/pleasant, for the Lord Jesus, will then give us, a trembling heart, and failing eyes, and sorrowful mind. And our lives, shall hang in doubt before us, and we shall fear day and night, and shall have none assurance, of our lives ( Deuteronomy 28:65B- 66 ). If we get to sin still, and believe not, for His wondrous works, then our days, will Jesus consume in vanity, and our years, in trouble ( Psalm 78:32-33 ).
> Isaiah 1:5C accounts, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” The thoughts are not right, and therefore, the self- dispositions and the emotions, are unstable. As the scriptures say, “unstable as water, we shall not prosper.”
> On the other hand, if we get to believe the “Good” Lord Jesus, for the great and the best things in life, it surely, will come to pass.
> The Lord Jesus had to say, in Numbers 14:28, say unto them, “As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as you have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you.”
> “It is sure/certain, the Lord Jesus can provide food/sustain life, in a place/environment, not suitable/impossible to sustain life.”
> There is a beautiful song that fits perfectly, for this occasion. And so it goes, “If I live a holy life, shun the wrong, and do the right, I know the Lord, will make a way, for me.” Tagalog version, is more expressive, “Kung ako’y magtatapat, kay Hesus ay susunod, alam kong may, magagawa, ang Diyos.” The Lord Jesus is saying, in Isaiah 1:19, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat, the good of the land.” Therefore, what we need, and what we want, are already provided for, by the “Good”, Lord Jesus Christ.
> King David, who had to rule the Israelites, for 40 years, renders his account on Psalm 37:25 saying, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed, begging bread.” In the same manner, his son Solomon, who later succeeded him in the throne, ruled as well the Israelites, for 40 years.
> I would not wonder, why the Psalmist would get to reckon/appraise/assess/consider, in Psalm 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD, are mercy and truth, unto such as keep His covenant, and His, testimonies.”
> He accounts further in Psalm 84:11, “For the LORD God is a sun ( the One who illuminates or enlightens ) and shield ( the One who gives shelter, or protection, or refuge ): the LORD will give grace/favor and glory/honor: no good thing, will He withhold/ refuse to give, from them that walk, uprightly/righteously.
> Again, “The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness! There’s no question, about it!!!”
> Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, today, we thank You for Your goodness, and praise You, for Your faithfulness. You are true to Your words, and we are so happy, You are the God we serve. You have never failed! You never will. You are our Yahweh/Jehovah Jireh, or the Self- existent Lord God, who provides bountifully, and abundantly for us. You give to all, life, breath and all things, and everything we need, so that in You, we live and move, and have our being. You show much love, and grace and compassion, to those who love You. Please help us, to win Your favor, so we can love You more. Make our hearts to burn, that we may crave, for more of You. All these we ask, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!!!
Author: Dr. Edmund Paul Medina
“The Lord Jesus, can furnish a table, in the wilderness! There’s no question, about it!!!” by Dr. Edmund Paul Medina is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.
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