Don’t Go Back to Egypt

Wrong-Way-Go-Back-Sign-K-7425When I read of the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt and their lack of faith I shake my head and shudder at their unbelief and ungratefulness. However, it struck me that I, too, can be one of them. And again, I shudder…

There are similarities between the Israelite community and me. We both were:

  1. Enslaved from birth. We were slaves to sin and death from our birth. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
  2. Delivered. Those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone have been delivered from sin and death. “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:1)

The Israelites didn’t trust God. When trials arose, they doubted God’s love and power. Their knee-jerk reaction was to talk about going back to Egypt where it was miserable but familiar. They sought to blame their leader, Moses, the one who spent his life on behalf of his fellow brothers and sisters. In my life, Egypt represents:

  1.  Temptation. We are told by the author of Hebrews, “to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us.” (Hebrews 12:1) The world is constantly wooing us like the seductress in Proverbs 7. But what does the Father say to his son, “Don’t let your heart turn aside to her ways; don’t stray onto her paths. For she has brought many down to death; her victims are countless.” (Proverbs 7:25-26)
  2. Stinkin’ Thinkin’. The Israelites still had the self-image of a slave in Egypt even after they were delivered. It is easy to continue to listen to the negative messages from childhood or the subtle but persistent messages the media dishes out. But I have to choose to read and believe God’s Word instead. Apostle Paul urges,”Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

Are you like me? Do you struggle with sometimes wanting to go back to “Egypt?” Well, I want to encourage you as well as myself to think about this: Going back to “Egypt” takes us further away from where God wants us to be. He had a special place reserved for the Israelites, but one generation could not let go of Egypt. So they died outside of the Promised Land. God has great plans for us, but we may not see the fruition of those plans because of sin or unbelief. And remember just as Moses was not the “bad guy” neither is God. When troubles and trials arise meditate on this: “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35,37)

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