Archive for the ‘Bible study’ Category

Wilderness Time

In Sunday school someone asked, what was the difference between Jacob and Esau?  Later in the class our Director of Christian Education read something about wilderness being a symbol for dislocation.  We studied Jacob’s dream in Genesis chapter 28.

God seems to work best through those who are willing to endure dislocation.  Esau, a lover of hunting, spent time outside but on his terms.  Esau was unwilling to wait for a marriage match that his parents would bless.  Supposedly he sold his inheritance because he was hungry and wanted food at that moment.  He seems to be a man unwilling to wait, perhaps unwilling to take a risk.

Who would have thought that Esau would be the risk averse brother?  Jacob spent most of his time hanging around with his mother “in the tents.”  The brawny, daring Esau seems the natural choice for a wilderness journey.  Yet by the time God is ready for the sons to begin the adult journey, God finds that Esau has already made all his choices.

Wilderness and dislocation are a crucial part of the overall Biblical story.  The matriarchs and patriarchs of Genesis left home… Moses and the Hebrew people wandered forty years in the desert … Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness.  Wilderness prepares one’s spirit for the wild and unpredictable life spent with the Holy Spirit.  Wilderness is a teacher, the lesson being God’s providence.

What are we learning from today’s experiences?  Are we willing to endure dislocation for the sake of God’s work in the world?  American society values risk-takers, but does not necessarily value patience.  We want answers, results, fulfillment.

The coronavirus pandemic has broken our expectations of quick results.  Are we willing to endure dislocation, waiting and wilderness for the sake of God’s work in the world?  Could God’s healing possibly come to us in ways we do not expect?

Pond in the woods