| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 37 - Page 18 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
It may or may not be waste and howling, it may be a place where sheep could be
pastured, the essence of the type lies in the extreme contrast that exists between "the
wild" and "the cultivated", the unspoiled and natural, as over against the sophisticated
and the artificial. In the wilderness man soon learns that he does not live by bread alone,
but city life spreads a veneer over the curse, blunts its edge, so that man feels less
dependent upon God and more likely to trust in civilization.
If we can carry with us the essential meaning of the WILDerness and keep it in
contrast with the high civilization of Egypt and all that Egypt typifies we shall arrive at a
truer conception of the typical meaning of Israel's wilderness experiences, than if we
allow our minds to be dominated by the idea of a desert in the generally accepted sense of
It was into this experience that is the portion of every redeemed child of God, that He
Who was Emmanuel, entered at the beginning of His public ministry.
It is well known to every student of the Word that the order of the temptations as
found in Matt. 4:, differs from the order as found in Luke 4:, and moreover, that there
are other differences, for example, where Luke speaks of a stone and bread in the
singular, Matthew uses both words in the plural.
There are three ways in which this variation in the order of the temptations may be
That one or the other, and possibly both records are untrustworthy. This is the
attitude of the Sceptic, and is only stated here, to be resolutely set aside.
That both records are true, and that on two occasions during the forty days trial
the Devil tempted the Lord with these three temptations, adopting slightly
different language and approaching Him in a different order. This is the
conclusion of "The Companion Bible" and is fully worked out in
There is another point of view however. Any comparison of any two Gospels
will bring to light the fact that what we think of as the historical order of
events was not so considered by ancient writers, but that the logical order
and spiritual significance was of far great importance.
To take an extreme and entirely unconnected example. It is evident by comparing
Gen. 10: and 11: that the dispersal at Babel must have come before the occupations of the
various lands "after his tongue", for Gen. 11: assures us that "the whole earth was of one
language, and of one speech".
Luke is the only writer who has assured us that he undertook to "set forth in order" the
happenings he records, consequently we can easily believe that what we read in Luke's
account is the actual historical sequence of events, but that Matthew, because of the
kingdom aspect of his account, places the temptation concerning "the kingdoms of the
world" as a climax. While, in the circumstances, it is impossible for any one to