The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it was a part of the province of Syria and was governed by a procurator. What is known as the wilderness of Judea is situated along the Jordan and the Dead Sea, to the east of Jerusalem.
A wilderness is commonly thought to be a place absent of trees and entirely destitute of inhabitants. In the New Testament, however, the word translated as wilderness means a mountainous, rough, and thinly settled area covered to some considerable extent with forests and rocks, and better suited for pasture than for tilling. John the Baptist preached repentance in the Judean wilderness (Matthew 3).
To a human, venturing into wilderness, the things they will meet are solitude, loneliness and helplessness, discomfort, hunger and thirst, natural and preternatural dangers. Their thoughts can only turn in on themselves, unless they talk to God. Madness, sickness and death are your constant enemies, but then, why did you trek out there in the first place? To get away from your problems? Fool!
Hopelessness (despair) is the deadliest threat of all, and will attack when all of your defences are breached. Without God’s help, it will tear you apart. “Not in bread ALONE doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” You will be sorely tempted to jack it all in and head for easy street. Resist this at all costs, prefer God’s word before earthly bread, and the tempter will have to leave you.
In your survival kit, rather than flares or signaling mirror, you would be better to pack the one thing that God cannot resist: true sorrow for your sins! The Lord, who is your buckler and shield, will always rescue the contrite sinner, and shelter them in His wounds, but even He cannot help us if we do not trust him: remember the words of Divine Mercy: “Jesus, I place all my trust in You!”
May God be with you in your wilderness, and hold you safe in His hands.