One of Biblical Promises: Making a Way in the Wilderness
There are so many promises that the Lord made with his firstborn, among the nations of the world, the Israelites (Jer 31:9) which are written in the bible. Those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus equally believe that those promises made with physical Israelites they are also partakers of them spiritually by the blood of Jesus Christ, because we are now Israelites of God as the epistle to the Galatians says, “and as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Gal 6:16)
Those of us who are Israelites of God have been adopted into this heritage by Jesus who gave himself a ransom for many.
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mar 10:45)
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1Ti. 2:6)
If you have given your life to Jesus Christ, it means that you are partakers of God’s promises as stated in the bible.
Since we have been adopted by the grace of God to become God’s children as it is stated in the Gospel according to Saint John that, “but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (Joh 1:12), we are therefore a partaker of all of God’s promises made with the Physical Israelites today.
What is a Promise?
Promise in Hebrew word is “דּבר”, Romanized form is dâbâr (pronounced as daw-bawr') which means a word spoken about a thing, counsel, decree, thought. While in Greek the word for promise is “ἐπαγγελία”, when Romanized it becomes epaggelia (phonetic spelling is ep-ang-el-ee'-ah) which means announcement, assent, pledge, divine assurance of good.
Google defines promise as a declaration or assurance that one will do or will not do something or that a particular thing will happen.
Where I Drawn out the Promise From
One of Yahweh’s assurances to his people, the Israelis that I which to talk about here is drawn out from the book of prophet Isaiah chapter 43. In this book from the very second verse of the chapter we shall see his promises to his people there, but the one I wish to talk about is in the nineteenth verse of the chapter.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isa. 43:19)
Matthew Henry while writing on this verse, says, God is through his prophet foretelling their deliverance from Babylon, however, apart from this, he is pointing all to a greater event to come, redemption of sinners by Christ, conversion of the gentiles and bringing back the Jews to their land are enclosed in this promise. The redemption of mankind is the greatest love that could be shown anyone in the world.
Geneva study bible says of this verse that Yahweh was saying that their liberation from Babylon would be more celebrated than their deliverance from Egypt.
What is the Promise to be Examined Here?
Bible students shall see that there are promises in this verse, “behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isa. 43:19) but the one I wish to talk about here is “I will even make a way in the wilderness,”.
This is one of the promises made with the Israelites through one of the greatest prophets sent to Israel, Prophet Isaiah, as could be found in his prophet book.
Who is Making the Promise Here?
Prophet Isaiah being the mouth piece of Yahweh is the one telling the people here what God promises to do for them. God is promising them what he will do for them, that though they had been taken into the uttermost part of the world and have lost hopes of coming out from there, all ways of escape seem blocked, yet he sent his word of assurances to them that he will do a spectacular thing like he did for their fore parents in the land of Egypt when he rescued them and led them into the land he promised their fore parents.
Examining the Speaker in Brief
As seen above that the speaker here in is Elohim, Jehovah, Yahweh the creator of the heaven and the earth. He has sent his servant to his people so that they wouldn’t lose hope, he has sent him to them to reassure them of what he will do.
(i) Speaks Confidently
This speaker confidently speaks because what he wants to do he has done before, it will not be the first time of doing such thing for people.
We need to know that whatever promises God makes with anyone he has done before, one would not be the first person unto whom such would be done.
Have you seen any of God’s promises before? Have you read about any of his promises? Or has he drop something in your inner man? Know that you will not be the only one unto whom such promises would be made, he has made similar promises like that before unto people.
(ii) Speaks With Assurance
Assurance is defined as a statement that something will certainly happen, particularly when there has been doubt about it. People who have been led captive have lost hope of deliverance at a certain stage, but they were being reassured that what he told them will certainly come to pass and therefore he says, “shall ye not know it?”
(iii) Speaks with Authority
Force people and those in paramilitary disciplines know what it means to speak with authority. They would say, “obey before complain”. Orders issued cannot be disobeyed neither ignored by subjects, for doing that would lead to the person being fired if not receiving stiffer punishments before being fired.
What Does the Promise Making a Way in the Wilderness Mean?
Let us now do a little bit of digging into what this promise “I will even make a way in the wilderness” means. I will want to explain this using a man who has lost his ways in the wilderness which in Hebrew word is written as “מדבּר”, Romanized form is midbâr (phonetic spelling is mid-bawr'). As this man keeps going in the wilderness, he has lost hopes of getting his ways back to the city or town where he comes from. This man has spent many days, and or months in the wilderness and everyone in the town too has lost hope of ever finding this man again.
One day when this man was in the wilderness, he slept off during the day, and started dreaming, in his dream he saw someone who appeared to him that he will show him a way back to the town from whence he came out from.
And after hearing this word in his dream this man woke up. You know, humanly speaking this man may not want to believe the dream, he does not want to believe the dream not because he likes the position he was in, but he couldn’t rely on the dream because humanly speaking he has tried his efforts over the years but without success, thus, he has resorted to his fate, expectantly looking for when he would die in the wilderness.
Though this man’s hopes were all gone, but along the line as he roams about in the wilderness again, one day he started seeing some green lights, started discovering the route for which he entered the wilderness and could retrace his steps back to the town. That is how it means.
You can imagine how joyous his people would be on seeing him back among them. You can imagine how happy this man would be on getting back to his home.
Having gotten a glimpse of what this promise implies from this short illustration, I want to show you some of the things in which we may have lost hopes on, but which God is saying that he would still make a way for you in those areas.
(i) You Can Still be Somebody
For those of you who have lost hope of becoming someone in life, you have been toiling and laboring year after year but nothing to show for it, God is telling you that it doesn’t matter how long you have been in your position he is going to make a way for you in that wilderness of suffering and ignominy and you will become somebody, a person to be reckoned with.
“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.” (Psa 113:7-8)
God did this for Jabez when he called unto God and told him that he does not want the position in which he lives in again, God heard him, made a way for him and he becomes great in life.
“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” (1 Ch 4:9-10)
Poll 1: Hopes Lost
Have you lost hope of becoming someone in life?
Do not lose hope, he has promised to make a way, Jabez was also a human being like you whose hopes were completely gone because of his position, because of what he had passed through in life, but one day his story changed, be assured that your story would equally be changed if you do not lose hope and keep on trusting in the Lord.
(ii) You Can Still be Parents
There are some in this world who have been married for years like Abraham and Sarah, like Manoah and his wife, like Elizabeth and Zachariah. And because age is no longer on your side like Zechariah and Elizabeth you have resorted to fate, you have believed that, that is how God wants it for you, you console and comfort yourself every time with the words of pharisees unto Jesus that it is not everyone in the world who can be parents because it has happened before and it is unfortunate that you fall into the category, God still wants you to know that you do not have to lose hope, because as he did it for Zachariah and Elizabeth, he can still do it for you too, even during this age that the woman is not menstruating again.
“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psa 113:9)
“And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.
“Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
“And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.” (Luk 1:7, 36-37 & 57-58)
I have you to have this believe in you that with God people will still rejoice with you as they rejoiced with Elizabeth and Zachariah.
(iii) You Can Still Marry a Partner of Your Dream
Some people because of their age have lost hope of getting married to people of their dream in this world, but I do not want you to lose hope because God can still do it for you, give you a woman or man of your dream.
Marriage in this part of the world is very important, I do not think it is that vital in some advanced countries, but in our land, when a lady is not married by 30 years people would be talking attaching some many things to the possible cause of her still being single, and when a man is yet single at 40 years, they would also be saying different kinds of things about the man, which may essentially led to psychological disturbances on those people and their family members.
Know that Prophet Moses married after the age of 40 years in the bible, because the bible says he spent the first 40 years in Egypt, and we know he was not married in Egypt before he was excommunicated from the country.
“And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.” (Act 7:23)
And before he would be married to one of the daughters of Jethro, he stayed for about seven years or more with the family working for them. (Exo 2:18-21)
Another example was Jacob, it was recorded that his twin brother, Esau, got married at the age of forty years, but he wasn’t married at this time, and was asked to leave the country few years after this for Haran by their parents. And it was not immediately that he got to Haran that he got married, he worked there for years before getting married, and he was blessed with children who became the Israel nation today.
“And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.” (Gen. 26:34)
“And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
“Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.” (Gen 28:1-2)
“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.” (Gen 29:18)
An example that I will use for a lady that married late was Leah, because Leah wasn’t beautiful like her sister, none wanted to befriend her let alone be married to her and in fact when Jacob too wanted to choose out of them, he opted for Rachel.
It could be a possibility that Leah too has been looking unto God and praying to him that he gives her a husband, but this never happened, and it seems as if it wouldn’t happen because age was not on her side.
She was in this position when Jacob entered their family, and he told her father that he would work for seven years to be married to her younger sister. Laban considered this inappropriate according to the culture of their land, and knowing that he wouldn’t marry her daughter, he saw this a dangerous trend for Leah and that if he did not act, it may mean that the lady would tarry longer than expected before getting married. Therefore, he employed wisdom and tricked Jacob to marry her.
Despite her age, she also got married to a good man irrespective of how she got married and gave birth to wonderful children, because she was the one who gave birth to Judah, via whom Jesus Christ came to the world.
“The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:” (Gen 35:23)
By her given birth to Judah, it shows that God has always been mindful of the forsaken in the world, and he has been doing terrible things in righteousness through them. Do you consider yourself forsaken, and have lost hope in this wise, God is saying there is yet hope for you.
Poll 2: Loan Repayment
Have You Lost Hope of Repaying Your Loans?
(iv) There is yet Hope for You to Repay Your Loans
Well before now, many of us in this part of the world consider loan a taboo, in fact there are still some preachers who will be preaching against taken loans and they would be saying if anyone takes loan such a one is under some forms of curses, because to them believers ought not to take loans.
However, from my little experience in the business world, I have discovered that if anyone would make appreciable progress in business such a one cannot shy away from taken loans to expand his or her businesses, because no one would be ready to give you the amount you want to use in expanding your business, in fact if some have the money they will not give you because of envying.
One of my friends who reside in America when he came home last year, and we were discussing he said loans in America and other developed world is common and most especially for students pursuing higher degrees there. But before he leaves for the advanced countries, he also belongs to our school of thought that it is not good to take loans.
Now assuming you have taken loans for your academics, taken loans to expand your business and what you hope would happen for taken the loans did not happen and as things stand now you have ran into debts with no sure means of repaying the loans back, you are in some kinds of wilderness and the Lord through this verse is saying that he will make way for you in that position and you will pay back that loan.
Consider the case of a widow in the bible, some bible scholars say this woman was wife of Prophet Obadiah, but this wasn’t stated in the scriptures, the husband of this woman left huge debts behind for the family he left behind. The woman doesn’t have hopes of repaying the loans again, however, when she was being harassed and her two sons were at the verge of being taken away by the creditor, she pleaded with the creditor to give her sometimes and ran to prophet of God, prophet Elisha and narrated everything unto him. The prophet after hearing this through the spirit of God provided a solution to the woman and she repaid her debts and sets up her business again.
“Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
“And Elisha said unto her, what shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
“Then he said, go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
“And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
“So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
“And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, there is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
“Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.” (2 Ki 4:1-7)
If you therefore have lost hopes of repaying your debts, God is saying he will make a way for you where you did not think about and the loans would be repaid, and you will be financially stable again. Embrace the word of God and give your heart peace.
(v) You Can Still be Healed
There are some who have fallen sick at unawares, some there would be no clear cut etiology found by the medical personnel as being responsible for the sickness that they are passing through and when the medical people say they are yet to find the causes of their problems they would be amazed because they know that they are in severe pains. If you are in such a predicament, do not lose hope, God can still heal you, what God specializes in is healing, for he said it was for this reason that the son of God was made manifest to destroy the works of the devil.
“…. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn 3:8b)
On the other hand, there are some whose causes of their infirmities would be discovered by the medical personnel, but they would tell them that they are not sure that they can recover from such infirmities, because statistics has shown that limited number of people scale through that infirmities. Such was the case with Hezekiah, his case was worrying such that the prophet (and priests) who doubles as doctors during their days, told him that he won’t scale through the disease, but he cried out to God and God made a way for him and he scaled through the disease.
“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
And said, remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
Go, and say to Hezekiah, thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.” (Isa 38:1-5)
Poll 3: Sick
Do you have infirmities in your body?
If you still have some infirmities in your body or in the body of someone close to you and you have lost hope of the person recovering from such infirmities, God is saying he would heal you if you can only believe, all you have to do is trust implicitly on his healing power and call on the name of Jesus and you will be healed because he has said in my name sick folks shall get healed.
“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mar 16:18)
You can lay hands on yourself if you have the faith. We have read of Kenneth Hagin senior, an American evangelist of how he got healed on the hospital bed decades back. No one prayed for him according to what was read of him, but all he did was believing in the healing power of the word of God and he practicalized it and he was made whole. He was neither a spirit nor an angel but he was a man like you and me, thus, if you can only exercise your faith in the word of God and talk to your father and my father in the name of Jesus, I want to sincerely assure you that you will be healed by God.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (Joh 14:13-14)
Now, maybe I should share this here before I close this article that there are different kinds of healing and if we restrict ourselves to a singular kind of healing we may run into troubles and may take God for a liar.
Different Kinds of Healing
When Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith and by the stripes of whom we were healed was in the flesh, I want to point us to some kinds of healing that happened during his ministrations.
(a) Instant Healing
We shall see on several occasions that majority of the healings that take place when he was ministering in the flesh was instant one. And this most of the time is what many of us do look forward to when praying for sick folks or when we ourselves take ill. Yes, he can do that, he is doing that, and he will continue to do that as long as he has not taken away his own from the world. Let us see an example out of the many of the instant healings.
“And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
“And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” (Mar 1:40-42)
Even the woman with hemorrhages who touched Jesus by faith got healed instantly. (Mar 5: 25-43). This is an example of healing during his days.
(b) Little Bit Delayed Type
We read that on another occasion some lepers met him and asked him to be compassionate on them, and he told them to go to the priests of the land for cross examination because that was the law that has been given that when a person is leprous, they would be cross examined by the priests who would certify whether they are cleansed or nay.
However, as they were on their way to the priests’ place, one of them discovered that he has been made whole and he turned back from others to come and give God the glory.
“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
“And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
"And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
“And Jesus answering said, were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
“And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luk 17:11-19)
Now, what I want to point out to us here is that those lepers weren’t healed on the instant that Jesus spoke the words unto them, for assuming they were healed there, the bible wouldn’t say one of them turned back to give God the glory, because he would have given him the glory and adoration on the immediate and on the spot.
The manifestations of some healings or miracles would not take place on the spot when the prayer is being offered but know that the prayer has been heard and answered.
(c) Protracted Type of Healing
Another type is the one that is a little bit protracted, this kind of healing wouldn’t happen after some minutes or days, it may take months before its manifestation is being noticed.
“And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
“And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
“And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
“After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” (Mar 8:22-25)
We shall see here that it was after different works on the man before he could completely see right.
We can consider the touching here as prayers, that you will pray once and there won’t be complete healing but there would be changes in your body or in the body of the person being prayed for or with, but when you continued to pray then the miracle would become physical and be completed.
It is because some of the brethren do not understand these types of healing or maybe we do not take time to study the sequence of the healing patterns that is why many of us do not know something like this exists and that though Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, yet something like this happened while he ministered too. The things happened because he wants us to learn, he wants us to be able to decipher and would not be taken away by liars and false prophets and teachers that are all over the places.
We need to recall that a similar thing happened to a colleague of apostle Paul too, and when writing on the incident told them that the man almost died, despite all the prayers, but as they continued, hopefully looking forward for the manifestation of the man’s healing, the healing was perfected and the man was restored.
“Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
“For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
“For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” (Php 2:25-27)
From the foregoing, when you prayed for healing, either for yourself or for someone else, all that Jesus requires is your faith, when you have the faith you should leave the rest with him. He may decide to do the healing immediately such that you will see it manifesting immediately and on other times the healing may be a bit delay or protracted, do not be disturbed, all you have to do is continue to exercise thine faith and all would come to pass as desired.
Always know that God does as he wills among men, we cannot dictate to him on what to do and how to go about doing it.
When Will it be Done?
In this verse under focus, Isaiah chapter 43 verse 19 we shall see that the author states in no hidden terms when the deed would be carried out, when the Lord would make a way in the wilderness.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isa. 43:19)
What does this imply? What it implies is that immediately you trust in the Lord, God has known that you have not lost hope and has started to work on the thing.
Now in Hebrew is “עתּה”, the Romanized form is ‛attâh (pronounced as at-taw') which means at this time, straightway.
We should know that what would follow some cycles would take sometimes before coming to manifestation. Consider a person who was looking for fruits of the womb like Sarah, though God has perfected her given birth, but at that he did not jump protocols, he followed the order for which women would take in and give birth. And so, the man said by this time next year, Sarah would have put to bed.
“Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son” (Gen 18:14)
Therefore, it is imperative we know that the “now” does not mean that God would not for our sake ignore the order of things, he will follow it as it ought to be followed because he is God of order and sequence.
Making a way in the wilderness means that God would make things happen for those who have been hopeless that something positive could ever happen to them in life, whatever it is that we are have lost hopes on, financially, academically, martially, spiritually, he is saying that he will make it happen for us that we shouldn’t lose hope on it coming to pass as we have desired, because all those who trust in him shall never be put to shame. (Joe. 2:26d)
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