Where is the Wilderness?
The Woman escapes to here during Jacob’s time of trouble. So, where is it?
According to Revelation 12:6 and 12:14, the wilderness is a place prepared by God, for nourishment and safety.
In the Exodus, it was also a place for manna, miracles, testing, and the presence of God.
There were some snakes there, but for the most part, it was safe.
For the Jews, it was a location immediately and physically adjacent to the problem they were escaping. They could walk there.
In the tribulation, they will fly there.
In the latter days, the “Woman” escapes to a wilderness set by God. In revelation 12, this escape is described twice.
The first escape describes natural Israel, the one who gave birth to the Christ.
The second escape describes Spiritual Israel, the who has the testimony of Christ.
The refugees may also have to be aware of “snakes” in this safe haven.
The “earth” also responds to save the woman from the dragon, indicating that the escape effort is supported on a global basis.
The local environment is hostile, as Israel is surrounded by enemies.
The “Wings of an eagle” is described as the method of escape by Rev 12:14, and may apply to both Natural and Spiritual Israel.
The wings may be physical, and indicate air transport to a safe location.
Exd 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
In a physical sense, the eagles wings may refer to assistance from the USA, and other western countries, in a joint air lift.
There is also a Christian group called Eagles Wings, who is supportive of Israel. I would expect Christians to be involved.
The wings may be spiritual, and indicate the intervention of the Holy Spirit, to provide protection where one is at.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
In this case, only the Lord can give individual direction as to how to respond.
We know that prayer is abiding under the shadow of His wings, and will give us safety and provision.
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Whether it is physical, spiritual, or both, there is a pattern of deliverance:
Problem → Testing → Goal
There are 3 patterns described in scripture:
As long as one is on earth, however, and living in the flesh, the direction can be reversed, if one fails to obey God:
Problem → Testing ← Goal
While Heaven or the Messianic kingdom is our ultimate goal, we will only experience our Promised Lands as long as we walk in the Spirit.
If the world is still in us, and we walk in the flesh, then we can slide back into the wilderness, for a time of correction, re-testing, and learning.
Of course, since God loves us, He provides for us while we are there, but it is inferior to the Promised land experiences.
The wilderness helps us experience a rebirth, and a removal of worldly influences.
In the upcoming Great Tribulation, both spiritual and natural Israel will experience “places” of safety, but also purification.
They will both be re-born in a way that brings them to a new level in God.
Since natural Israel lives in the natural, it will be brought to a natural place.
Since Israel came out of the Sinai wilderness originally, and also from around the world (Diaspora), it may return there temporarily after the abomination of desolation.
Messiah will then collect them on his return.
Revelation also says that the “earth” responds to the flood of the dragon and swallows it up, implying that there could be a large effort from western countries to rescue the Jews, and be part of the Great Eagle that flies them out of Israel.
I would expect the Christians of the earth to be involved here.
Or, Israel could be moved back to the original wilderness, where God once again provides for his people with miracles and his special presence, renewing the spiritual connection between them.
For spiritual Israel, a location of physical safety is less defined, or implied.
But I would expect the same pattern to apply.
Any relocation would be somewhere close to the original residence, just as the Sinai wilderness was adjacent to Egypt.
Or, the wilderness could be right where one lives, but set apart from the world.
Spiritual Israel should focus on walking in the Spirit at this time.
If it does this, it can remain in the Promised Land (presence and protection of Holy Spirit), and may not have to relocate physically.
Even though it has to exist IN the world, does not mean the world needs to be on the INSIDE of them.
We need to function in the world to survive, but not let the world affect our values or behavior.
If Spiritual Israel walks in the flesh, then any physical location could be a danger. It will leave its Promised Land and end up in its own wilderness. God will still provide, but the “snakes” will show up.
The Promised Land of the Spirit has no snakes.!!!
Even Natural Israel understands the spiritual path means discarding much of what the world has to offer.
Temptations to sin, and dangers, will still be present (the “snakes” do not leave).
We must overcome with our faith.
So to survive physically, but most of all spiritually, one needs to seek the Lord with all one’s heart, with all one’s mind, and with all one’s strength.
God must come first in our lives.
Then any wilderness will seem like Heaven.