One Year Bible: I Kings 3:1-4:34, Acts 6:1-15; Psalm 126:1-6; Proverbs 16:26-27
For Desert Dwellers
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
You’ve got a Negev; so do I. Everybody gets a Negev at some point in their life. Spending time there just seems to be core curriculum for Christians.
So what’s a Negev? The Negev was the desert that sat on Israel’s southern border, and it was an inhospitable, intimidating and impossible place. It was a borderline of barrenness. Israel had a physical Negev, and you may very well be living with a barren place that is bordering your life emotionally, financially, relationally or spiritually, preventing your from moving into the fruitfulness that God intends for you.
And here’s the deal with deserts: To the natural eye, there is no quick way out or easy way through. To the natural mind, there is nothing but barrenness, with no hope for life, no prospects for change. The desert represents death—end of a dream, end of the line, end of story.
But God specializes in creating streams in the desert, turning bareness into fruitfulness, and birthing life from death. God brought the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land, David out of the wilderness into the palace, Israel back from Babylonian exile to rebuilt Jerusalem, and Jesus from the death’s tomb to eternal glory. As you can see, deserts—physical, emotional, financial, relational, spiritual—are no big deal to God; some of his best work is done there.
Your Negev may look like the end of the road for you, but don’t lose hope. Though you may weep tears of sorrow or tears of repentance or tears of intercession over your desert (Psalm 126:5), if your heart is upright (Psalm 125:4), God will water your Negev with those tears and in the proper time, bring forth so much abundance (Psalm 126:6) that you will have to pinch yourself to make sure it is not a dream (Psalm 126:1).
So dear desert dweller, get ready to laugh. God is about to send you a stream of restoration.
“He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy.”
~ Kahlil Gibran