Episode 102 – Grapes in the Desert Pt 2: Davar in the Midbar

Key Passage(s): Hosea 9:10

In Hebrew, the root word for midbar (desert) is the Hebrew word davar, which means to speak. While God is always speaking, we usually hear God best in the desert experiences of our lives. Why? Because in seasons of hardship and challenge, busyness and distraction are stripped away, and we become more present and open to God’s voice. When that happens, God often speaks exactly what we need to hear. What if the COVID-19 pandemic is a desert experience in which God is inviting us to pay attention and listen for His voice? If so, we might just receive a davar in the midbar that could change everything.

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • What have been one or two desert experiences where you felt God speak to you in a meaningful or powerful way?
  • The poet Mary Oliver wrote that “attention is the beginning of devotion.” What do you feel are the biggest distractions that keep you from giving your attention to God’s voice?
  • When was the last time you felt God used you to speak His words to someone else?
  • What do you think are some of the characteristics of the kind of person God uses to speak His words to others?
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?

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  1. Chris Decker May 5, 2020 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Wow, talking about a davar in the midbar…
    This teaching is mine.
    Being a bivocational pastor with my fulltime job being a grocery store manager as well as being a recovery coach at 2 different locations, my life hasn’t had a chance to slow down in this pandemic. In a lot of ways my life got even busier. (Did I mention I work in grocery? ) plus trying to study and pastor a small church that is now online. With our size and lack of resources and technology this pandemic has brought on a whole new set of challenges. Then adding recovery in a time when we can’t have face to face meetings. My life has been more of a whirlwind than a time of slowing down.
    The week before last my boss told me that he found a way where he could get me off from work for 5 days in a row where I wouldn’t need to take vacation time. I thought this would be great, however it just looked as if it would be more of an extended weekend than anything. The 1st couple of days were spent preparing for church and getting things done around the house / farm (oh ya I’m a hobby farmer as well). Then yesterday (Monday) came and I felt odd having not as much to do. I almost felt guilty. I prayed that God could teach me and speak to me. Monday evening I ended up finding myself in a midbar as my wife and kids all had things happening that left me home alone. With everything closed, I really didn’t have much to do.
    I ended up doing some reading that had nothing to do with an upcoming sermon, which I haven’t done in a long time. I also spent some time just watching and enjoying the 5 different bird feeders my wife has set up. All this time finally feeling relaxed and more focused than I have in a very long time.
    Then I wake up this morning to the Grapes in the Desert pt.2 teaching and realized that last night and continuing into this morning, was my davar in this midbar. This was God, through my boss, bringing me to the desert, that I’ve been hearing so many people have been in lately. When in this midbar I needed to stop and depend on God. This time has taught me that I need to actually take time for myself and not feel guilty about it. That it’s ok to take time to refocus on what God wants from me and where I need to better fit in with the church and the people He has trusted me with. And see where I fit in with the people in recovery He has put in my life. As I’m able to focus on me and God I can see where I fit in better with the where God is calling me in my life.

    This teaching has really helped shed light on this time for me and I am grateful for it.

    • Bill Black May 6, 2020 at 7:40 am - Reply

      IN ORDER TO BE “CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST” we’re never told it will be like pruning a tree.
      Now if we could hear the tree talk ‘Ouch that hurts, and the sap -tears-runs down the trunk, but next year as the pruner looks at that pruning with joy cause the fruit is more abundant and beautiful. It is now a step further in righteousness, a process, as YEHOVAH planned!

    • Brad Gray May 7, 2020 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to share this, Chris. Raw, honest, and encouraging.

  2. Roslyn Jackson May 5, 2020 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Thanks for these talks Brad. I lead our church house group and was really battling for something to share this week that would encourage folk. My husband and I were chatting about possible ideas which I jotted down as we spoke.
    I then watched this video and the concept of distractions you mentioned were word-for-word what I had jotted down earlier.
    This has confirmed that the message I feel God is growing in my heart is indeed from Him – your message has just being a “davar in the midbar” for me. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

    • Brad Gray May 7, 2020 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      So cool, Roslyn. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Crystal June 9, 2020 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    My Davar in the midbar,
    I’m a consumer Advisory board member at Community Action House in Holland, Michigan. My dear friend and operation specialist knew me and my kiddos were struggling. She reached out to a local church and a lady that donated to CAH and got funding for my rent for 2 months. What a blessing and God heard my prayers. Thanks Brad for this teaching as always.

  4. Rod L Jensen July 13, 2021 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    I was on staff with Aaron up at Real Life in Moscow. We are now living in AZ and on way to MN. Stopped by Southeastern this past Sunday and we’re fortunate to hear you speak. Really enjoyed and enjoy walking the text!!!!

    Didn’t know you were a hooper. Was blessed to coach basketball for 45 years. Pray that someday our paths cross and we can exchange stories!

    Thanks for a great message, Rod L Jensen

    • Brad Gray July 19, 2021 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Very nice! Thank you for sharing that, Rod, and yes, hopefully our paths do cross at some point. I’m always up for swapping basketball stories 🙂

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