Turn Your Back On The Desert

Exodus 33:8-10
8 “So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood AT HIS TENT DOOR and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. 9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door.”

(The tents of the Israelites faced toward the Tabernacle.)

In today’s world there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty.  The threat of global financial collapse is looming, terrorism is on the rise and racial hatred is at a fever pitch.  Lawlessness in general is rampant.  It’s like the world has gone crazy!

But in the midst of it all, there is One on Whom we can rely with absolute certainty:  Our Lord Jesus!
The Battle Belongs To The Lord.
Over and over and over again throughout the Bible God tells us to “FEAR NOT, Do not be afraid,” or words to that effect.  In fact, He says it exactly 365 times.  Interesting number, isn’t it?   One for every day of the year!
If we, Church, trust Him and lift up Jesus, He will fight our battles for us because THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD.
Memorizing and confessing Psalm 91 daily in these last days isn’t just a nice idea:  It’s a necessity.  The enemy is too strong for us.  But the Holy Spirit isn’t content to just tell us these things.  He loves to draw us beautiful pictures to illustrate spiritual principles.  He does it through the lives and events of the Children of Israel, like the story below.
(For more on Psalm 91, follow this link:  https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/psalm-91-part-1-of-7-of-7-the-secret-place/)
God’s Wisdom.
The opening passage reveals that all the tents of the Israelites faced inward, TOWARD the tabernacle as pictured above:  In other words,TOWARD JESUS! 
There were three tribes on the north, three on the south, three to the east, and three to the west. Their encampment formed the shape of a giant cross {see picture} leaving NO DOUBT Who The Father had on His mind:  His beloved Son!  No wonder Balaam couldn’t curse them!


From a human standpoint, facing the tabernacle with their backs to the desert and away from their enemies doesn’t seem very smart, does it?  Wouldn’t that make them easy prey?
No.  Fortunately for us, God doesn’t thing like we do.  His wisdom far surpasses our own!  He didn’t want them focusing on their “desert;” in other words, their enemies.  He wanted them focused on Him.  He’s the only One Who can defeat them!

Your Rear Guard.
The Israelites carried four banners, {see picture below} each with a different picture on it:  One with the face of a Lion; another, the face of an ox; another, the face of a man; and one, the face of an eagle. One banner on each of the four sides of the tabernacle at the head of each column.  These, believe it or not, are the four faces of Jesus. Yep, you read that right.

(For more on this topic and at the same time discover why we have four gospels, follow this link:  https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/gospel-series-part-2-why-we-have-four-gospels/)

As long as they lifted up Jesus, symbolized by lifting high their banners, God took care of their backs.  He fought against their enemies from the desert!  The glory of the LORD was their rear guard!

The Gospel Of Matthew.
Each one of the faces on these four flags represents each of the four Gospels.  Matthew is depicted as The Lion.  Why?  Because Jesus is portrayed as King of the Jews in the Gospel of Matthew more often than in any other.  In fact, Matthew was specifically written TO the Jews.
Didn’t you ever wonder why the genealogy in Matthew begins with Abraham instead of Adam?  He was the father of the nation of Israel, sure, but why start with Abraham?
Simple:  In order to legally lay claim to the throne of Israel, your claim must be proven to be legitimate.  The fact of the matter is, Jesus had a double claim!  Both Joseph and Mary could trace their lineage back to David.  Joseph, even though he provided no seed, descended from Solomon; Mary from Nathan, another of King David’s sons.

This may come as a surprise to some, but Joseph AND Mary, being direct descendants of King David, should have been ruling over Israel, not Herod.  They were the bonafide royal couple!  Herod wasn’t even a Jew.
For more on that story, follow the link below.  You’ll learn some interesting, though perhaps little-known, history:
Here’s something else that seems strange.  Did you ever notice this verse and wonder about it?  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”  Matthew 1:1.  Shouldn’t it read “the Son of Abraham, the Son of David?”  After all, Abraham live long before David, right?  Why is it listed in reverse order?
Precisely because Jesus’ claim is to the throne of His father David and kingship comes from King David, though Abraham was promised land, prosperity and that kings would come from his loins.
The Gospel Of Mark.
Mark is represented by The Ox.  In this Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as the suffering servant most often.  Why an ox?  It is a tireless, laboring worker.  This animal was also used as a sacrifice.  There is no genealogy recorded in Mark because the pedigree of a servant does not need to be established.
Throughout Mark, you’ll notice the word, “Immediately,” used frequently because a good servant always does his master’s bidding “immediately.”  Remember the statement Jesus made?  That He did not come to be served, but to serve.”  He serves you and I, Church!
The Gospel Of Luke.
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus is portrayed as the Son of Man most often.  Here we see that His genealogy is traced all the way from Adam.  Why?
Because it proves positively that Jesus is fully human and thus legally qualifies to be our Goel; our Kinsman Redeemer.  He didn’t take on human form like invasion of the body snatchers.  NO!
God is a loving God but He is also just.  He deals in matters of legality.  You see, because the fall in the garden was due to a man’s failure, it must LEGALLY be a man who buys back what was lost.
It is so important that we also see Jesus as fully man.  You see, ee can get so caught up in seeing Him as Deity, which He most certainly is, that we forget He was also fully human.  He suffered as a man and has human sympathies and emotions.
When Jesus was born of Mary, God became something He had never been before:  Human, just to save all of us!  AMAZING GRACE!  Right now, there sits at the right hand of the Father One Perfect human being with a real live beating human heart Who doesn’t merely understand how we feel, HE FEELS WHAT WE FEEL!

The Gospel Of John.

Finally,bye come to John, depicted by The Eagle.  Why an eagle?
Because Eagles soar high up in the heavens, high above us.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus is portrayed as the Son of God Who came straight from heaven more often than in any other.
Also worthy of note, John contains no genealogy because, as the Son of God, Jesus is without beginning or end.
Contained herein are accounts of His most amazing miracles.  Need healing in your body from some catastprohic disease?  Feed on the Gospel of John!
These four pictures appeared on the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, the Kadoshim, pictured above.
Turn Your Eyes On Jesus.
Just like the children of Israel whose tents faced Jesus, So He wants you and I to turn our backs on our problems–on our desert–to turn around and face The Tabernacle, Jesus, and lift Him high.  He will defeat ALL OUR ENEMIES and solve all our problems. He will defend us!!
That doesn’t mean you totally ignore the desert.  Just don’t make it your entire focus. If you turn around away from THE TABERNACLE, with your back toward Jesus, what do you see in front of you?  The devil, for whom you and I are NO MATCH.
Turn around!  Allow The Only One Who can deal with him to do so.  Positioning yourself in this way demonstrates to God that you are not at all worried about whatever issue is at hand, that you truly trust Him to handle your problems.  Daily make your requests known to God through prayer. He will take it from there.

So, Church, keep your eyes on Jesus, THE TABERNACLE, lift Him up and for heaven’s sake……TURN YOUR BACK ON THE DESERT!

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