Wilderness Wisdom Part 2

25 April 10


  1. Introduction:

·         Kingdom of God has a process of development to qualify you for enlargement

·         “Wilderness Experiences” are seasons of learning to trust God and develop strength of character

·         Jesus: Anointed -> Wilderness -> Returned in Power

·         Deut 8:2-3  Israel experienced a wilderness season – time of transition and preparation

·         Transitions are Uncomfortable

1) Egypt – God did it all

2) Canaan – Israel had to arise and exercise faith to possess

Israel needed to develop faith and strength of character to possess the promises

·      Purpose of their wilderness experience:

1)      Expose and remove slave mentality

2)      Develop faith as sons of God

3)      Develop strength and character


  1. Adversity is an Opportunity to Grow :

a)  Israel’s first Wilderness Experience:

Ex 15:22-26 The waters of Marah

·      3 days without water in the shadow of the cloud of god

·      Their hopes were raised and then disappointment at Marah

·      Marah = Bitter


b) Bitterness is a heart response to injustice:

Ex 1:13-14  They made their lives bitter with hard bondage

·         They were forced t work as slaves under task masters

·         Serve with ‘Rigour’ = cruelty, severity, to break apart, to fracture

·         ‘Afflict’ = 6031 = to put down, to humiliate

·         Israel were cruelly treated and deeply wounded by their slavery

Reactions, abuse, sorrows, bondage

·         When negative experiences are not resolved they develop deep bitter roots

Hurt/injustice = resentment = offence = unforgiveness = bitterness


c)     Bitterness is a heart response to injustice:

Heb 12;15

 “ … lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled”

·         Bitterness is like a sour root that defiles the soul and pollutes relationships

·         ‘Defiled’ = 3392 = contaminate, unclean, defile, pollute, stain

·         Bitterness often results in inner judgments against God, self and people

·         Judge = 2919 = to try, condemn, pass sentence upon

·         Bitter root judgments defile relationships, set off a cycle of sowing and reaping

·         The judgments people have in the heart affect capacity to see clearly

·         Matt 7:2-3 

“Remove the beam (judgment) from own eye that might see clearly”

·         People don’t feel bitter but the heart knows Prov 14:10 and fruit appears



d)     The Fruit of Bitterness:

Lk 6:44 

“Every tree is known by its fruit”

·         The fruit of bitterness is easily seen and identified

i)                    Facial expressions

ii)                   Critical

iii)                 Faultfinding

iv)                Blaming

v)                 Inability to be thankful

vi)                Condemning

vii)              Judging

viii)             Controlling and manipulate others


e)     Adversity Exposes Bitterness:

Ex 15:24 

“The people complained against Moses saying …”

·         Complain = 3853 = to lodge oversight, grumble, make accusations, to hold a grudge or resentment against

·         Adversity presented a choice – respond in faith or react in bitterness and unbelief


f)       God’s Remedy for Bitterness – Grace:

Ex 15:25-26 

“Moses cried out to the Lord”

·         Faith response

                                                         i.      God gave him revelation- insight and wisdom

                                                       ii.      Tree = The Cross – the grace and power of God to save

                                                      iii.      ‘He cast it” – Moses applied the tree by faith, the bitter became sweet

·         The Cross reveals the response of God to injustice and bitterness

·         The Cross is the Power of God to overcome injustice and bitterness

·         We need revelation of how to apply the Cross to our situation

·         Beyond this experience was water in abundance v27


3.      Application:

·         What ‘bitter’ experience or disappointing experience are you facing?

·         How are you responding? Your countenance? Your attitude? Your words?

·         What does the Lord want you to address in your heart?

·         Will you bring it to the Cross and believe for the bitter to become sweet  e.g. Joseph: Gen 45:7-8

·         Response to Bitterness:

·         Acknowledge

·         Forgive

·         Renounce Judgments

·         Saw Grace