Returning to Egypt Isn't An Option
There is a moment in the book of Exodus from the Hebrew Scriptures when the Hebrew people have only just escaped slavery in Egypt, and they discover to their utter dismay that they are being pursued.
The story tells us that after allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt, Pharaoh (king of Egypt) repents of his decision to let his slave work force escape, and heads after them with his army.
Immediately the Hebrew people start lamenting their circumstances.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
All the Hebrew people could see right then was their present difficult circumstance, which caused them to say: "It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert."
The uncertainty of the moment clouded their memories of lives lived in constant bondage, never-ceasing work, dehumanizing conditions, generations of servitude...
In that moment they forgot their cries for deliverance from God, which were answered. They forgot the miraculous way that God had caused Pharaoh to release them from bondage.
How many of us do this very thing in our own lives? We try to leave behind the bondage and slavery of our bad habits, sinfulness and pride... We try to leave behind our slavery to busy-ness and success... and as soon as things start to get difficult, we long to return to Egypt.
If you are struggling to trust God to lead your path away from the things that have held you captive---let go, and surrender the outcomes. Trust that the God who led you out of bondage will part the seas, and make your way clear.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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