The church in the wilderness was of a sacred order, under a divine charter, and blessed with divine revelation. Moses presided in all its affairs for forty years; and many a time it would have been destroyed if Moses had not interceded on its behalf. Despite its divine nature; the people were rebellious.
The 95th Psalm tells of its nature and warns others to not follow such a pattern: "Harden not your heart in rebellion as in the day of testing in the wilderness: when your fathers tried me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty long years I was grieved with this generation: It is a people that go astray, and have not known my ways. Unto them I will reveal my wrath that they should not enter into my rest."
The generation spoken of seen God's miraculous deliverance; seen the mighty hand of God move to set them free, yet failed to walk in His ways set before them.
It is sad to see a similar situation in America, and other once godly nations, of a withdrawing from God's blessings; by rejecting God's Word and embracing ungodliness.
The church in the wilderness; in Moses' absence, created a golden calf; the very image of the idolatrous worship which God had delivered them out of. They were proud of their accomplishment and their new god! In America, and elsewhere, the golden calf has become a "Sodom and Gomorrah" setting as it rides towards its peak with little resistance.
America's leadership has embraced that which is condemned in God's Word (Romans 1:24-27); laws and judicial rulings have been made to justify the golden calf of our era. There is no shame in what is being braced (Jeremiah 6:15).
The church in the wilderness refers to the Israelites "called out" of Egypt; that of a pagan society and its influence, to represent God. The golden calf was representative of Egypt; and the influence it still held on those taken out of bondage.
We are seeing many churches; in America and elsewhere, who are falling short of the "called out" status. Rather than set an example for the world they are allowing the world to set an example for them. Rather than embrace the Unadulterated Word of God; to stand in its statures and precepts, they are allowing the deception of the ungodly to creep in.
Scripture admonishes the believer to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, that one live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people (Titus 2:12-14).
The church in the wilderness had forsaken the things of God. They worshiped and relished the golden calf above God. Is America, and other once godly nations, being guided towards a similar path? Has the embracement and enhancement of the ungodly outweighed godly influence?
Has darkness so enveloped the land that one has become blinded to the light of the glorious gospel of Christ? Has the pattern already been set; for the continuation of such activity, or will righteousness reign again? Upon the return of Moses from receiving the commandments of God; he quickly set the house of Israel in order. Who will come forth in America's hour of need; to set the house in order?
Is America, and other once godly nations, allowing the prophecy of Isaiah to become a reality: "Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him" (Isaiah 5:20-23).
God's judgment towards such was pronounced: "Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness; because they have cast away the law of the Lord; and despised the word of the Holy One" (Isaiah 5:24). As man makes the world of sin more attractive and desirable; it will not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father (Psalm 33:14), whose wrath will not be forestalled forever.
The prophet Jeremiah cried out: "Thus saith the Lord, stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein:
Also I set watchmen, over you saying, hearken to the sound of the trumpet (a warning given); but they said we will not hearken. Therefore hear, O earth; I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened to my works, nor to my law, but rejected it" (Jeremiah 6:18-19).
The people of Jeremiah's day could be likened to the church in the wilderness; refusing to walk in the ways of true righteousness and moving in their own paths and following their own ways. Scripture clearly defines God's desire for mankind: "Oh that they would fear (or reverence) me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever" (Deuteronomy 5:29).
The "Church in the Wilderness" message reveals that one need not turn back from their commitment to God. Scripture encourages the believer to remain steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
The apostle Paul stated: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my race, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
A beautiful promise awaits the believer who crosses the finish line of faith as Paul; to enter into eternal life though Christ. Scripture reveals: God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).