When the Israelites finally left Egypt, they went with 400 years of back pay in gold and treasure. So, the first place God took them was into the wilderness where they couldn’t spend any of it.
The wilderness isn’t a punishment from God, it’s a place of intimacy with him. It’s where he can work with you on removing who you aren’t, and building who he says you can be.
Most of all, it’s where he can transform your heart and mind. With hearts full of fear and mindsets of poverty, the Israelites made a literal idol of their new wealth. With a heart full of love and a mindset of wonder, Moses raised a courageous, mindful generation that would know God as their true inheritance as they learned to live in the promised land.
“Who is this returning from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? Who has she become?” (Song of Songs 8:5).