The wilderness came when the Garden was lost.
It was the very fruit of the curse.
In other words, it was THE outcome of GOD'S face being turned away, and from that time we find the wilderness again and again coming up in the picture of human life.
Israel in the wilderness spoke of the curse, desolation and death.
In that wilderness, if Heaven had not intervened, they certainly would have perished and they knew it, too.
There was nothing there to assure of life.
It was only because there was a Testimony in their midst that they could possibly live in the wilderness;
And when their hearts were rightly adjusted to that Testimony, they lived above the wilderness.
In the midst of death they were in life:
In the midst of desolation they were in plenty:
In the midst of the curse they were in blessing.
And that Testimony was the Testimony of Jesus.
When, later, they went into the far captivity and knew the desolation again for seventy years, and at last the seventy years' accomplishment came into view, the prophet cried with his gospel of hope..."Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your GOD.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished.
Isa 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
The issue of that is that "the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose".
Isa 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
Isa 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
~T. Austin Sparks~