It doesn’t feel a stretch to think of living in a growing pandemic as being like entering a wilderness – it’s full of unknowns, there’s a harshness about it, it’s a place of isolation. And it can also involve loss. I don’t mean loss of life, though that’s a reality, but I mean a loss of what’s familiar or comfortable, kind of like when the Israelites left the steady diet of Egypt (even if it was a slave’s diet) to follow Moses into a wilderness. A pandemic can also involve the loss of familiar things that we, too, may have been slaves to – entertainment, sports, even financial pursuits.
I think that’s why it felt like God got my attention as I read about him giving Moses instructions regarding a Tent of Meeting in the wilderness – a place for God to dwell with his people in an unfamiliar place. At the end of Exodus 29, the Lord says, “And I shall abide in the midst of the Israelites and I shall be God to them. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt [why?…] for me to abide in their midst. I am the Lord their God.” He brought them into the wilderness so that, with all the trappings of slavery left behind, he could dwell unhindered with his people.
© 2020 by Ken Peters
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