02Jun20 - Preacher Diary
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. Luke 1:13
The "wilderness" is popularly conceived of as the habitation of devils and wild beasts. But this scripture reveals that angels of God are also there to take care of Gods people as they pass "through" that valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). Afterall "The earth [the wilderness as well as the fruitful field] is the LORDS and the fulness thereof (Psalm 24:1).
The wilderness is not only a place of Satanic ministrations (or temptation); it is also a place of angelic ministrations.
Ministrations do not come only when we are in green pastures, or when we lie down besides still waters. In fact, the better part of the divine visitations which most men of God have received from God have come while they were passing through the wilderness. Alone there, tempted by devils and terrified by wild beasts, they naturally turned to God and, of course, the angelic ministrations were there for them. In his flight from the wicked queen Jezebel, the Prophet Elijah was twice ministered to by this category of angels in the wilderness while he slept discouraged under the juniper tree, waiting to die (1 Kings 19:4-8).
Are you at this moment in the wilderness? Do not give up. Do not focus only on the devils and the wild beasts and the stones. God has His angels there also, to see to your welfare and that of His other children whose training necessarily has to pass them through that route. God will not send His precious children through that place unless He has made provisions for them while there.
David puts it this way, from personal experience:
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR THOU ART WITH ME... (Psalm 23:4).
And in Psalm 91:11-12, he adds:
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Are you right now going through the wilderness? Cheer up. It's only a phase; a 'going through' What more, great angelic ministrations have been arranged for you there. Even Elijah can confirm to you the power and sustainability of their ministrations. He carried on for forty days, empowered by a single ministration (1 Kings 19:4-8). Be sure not to get so distracted by the stones and the devils that you miss the revitalizing ministry of the angels there in that wilderness. Amen.
From The Preachers diary,
October 31, 1996.