Belief in God Trials and temptations

Arise ye, and depart

Micah 2:10  Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest:…

There is no permanent rest for the believer on earth; here thistles and thorns abound and a voice is daily sounding in his ears, “Arise ye, and depart.” Here you are not to loll at ease or to idle on your journey; here you are not to expect to find satisfaction for it is an enemy’s land; and you are only passing through on your way to your heavenly home.—Daily Remembrancer November 16 Morning

In 1975 I was one of 3 adults who set off, hitchhiking together, across Australia from Perth to Melbourne. That is a journey of some 3400 km (2100 miles). According to Google maps it can now be driven in 37 hours non-stop (not that that is recommended). At that time the road was only sealed (with bitumen) on the Western Australian side out to the state border with South Australia.  After that was about 800 km (500 miles) of very poor quality dirt road. See circled area on map. That is already well into the Nullabor plain. The word ‘Nullabor’ is aboriginal and means ‘treeless.’ It is a flat desert plain.

Perth to Melbourne

We three (including my future wife) set out by faith. We had and therefore took very little money. We were claiming the verse:

Mark 6:8 And [Jesus] commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse.

This was my first real faith trip. I looked forward to that promised abode that Christ went to prepare for us (John 14:3).  But on earth we have many obstacles to overcome. The Lord really tested us on this journey.

Three people hitchhiking is not a good formula, as quite obviously it is a lot for someone to put into their car, including our backpacks and two guitars. But in the ’70s there was a lot of hitchhiking.

The Lord provided a couple of rides out of the city of Perth and then out to where there really is just one road, one long boring road, with hardly a corner anywhere. The last guy who picked us up in Norseman (WA) was headed to Melbourne. That would cover about 80% of the journey, so we thought we really had it made. But God had other plans.

When we arrived at Nullabor station (a petrol stop) before the dirt road began the driver pulled over and told us to get out of the car. He did not want the extra weight in his car as he headed over the unsealed road section. He was afraid of damage to his car. So there we were dumped in the desert, on the side of the road, a thousand kilometers from any civilisation. At least we had a petrol station on the other side and we could get water and food with the very little money we did have.

We did not expect to wait there that long and thought we would be soon on our way. We stood waiting for another car to collect us. But days passed, many cars and trucks passed but no one stopped. Many as they passed us in their cars verbally abused us, for no real reason. We felt stuck out there.

One time sleeping at night we were suddenly awakened as a pick-up truck of yahoos cruised by and threw dead rabbits at us. They had shot them, while out hunting that night, and the rabbits already were stiff from rigor.

We joked about the situation and sang songs around a camp fire. We had sort of settled on the side of the road where we slept. After some time we had very little to eat. I recall eating slices of plain bread, because we could not afford to buy anything to put in them to make a sandwich. We called them ‘air’ sandwiches.

Eventually after 2 weeks a police car stopped and the police told us that if we are not gone within another day, when they come back, they would have to take us back to the nearest township many hundreds of kilometers back in the wrong direction.  We prayed desperately for God to get us out of there. And it came to us that we needed to put God on the spot.

It was very hot and dry and there is little water out there (it’s a desert), but we filled our water bottles and walked out of that campsite down the dirt track, into the unknown.

Within half an hour walking a small 4-wheel-drive type vehicle pulled over and pick us up. He was headed to Melbourne and was glad for the company. He even had a small refrigerator in his vehicle and gladly shared his cold drinks and food with us. He, in fact, took us all the way to our destination. I tell you we were so thankful.

It seems God had His perfect timing, but we had to wait 2 weeks to meet His schedule. We had to learn though to trust Him, as we had little or nothing else we could trust in. Certainly we could not say that our own arm had saved us (2 Chronicles 32:8).

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

DR Nov 16 M

By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

One reply on “Arise ye, and depart”

I have done a lot of hitchhiking in the United States. Usually, if I stand for an hour and don’t get a ride, I start walking and I’ll get a ride eventually. The Lord leads me where I need to go—He provides for me and protects me on the road.

“A Thumb and a Prayer”

“Hitchhiking in Nebraska”


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