I Wanna Go Back to Egypt
I Wanna Go Back to Egypt
by Jeremy McMorris
As I recently read the story of God’s delivering the Children of Israel (COI) from the Egyptians, I was struck with how similar our circumstances often are.
The COI had it rough in Egypt. They were slaves to people who didn’t love them or know their God. They were forced into breaking their backs so that the Egyptians didn’t have to. The monuments they were building were for . . . the Egyptians.
Then Moses came along and things got worse. Now they had to make brick and gather their own straw to make the bricks. This was a serious “supply and demand” problem.
You know the story well. God delivers them, and they are set free into the Egyptian desert. Yay! Freedom! . . . sort of. They soon find themselves with their backs against the Red Sea while the Egyptian military is fast approaching in the ancient version of the F-16, - horse-drawn chariots. Here the COI begin their often repeated complaint, “Moses, why did you drag us out here to this crummy place to die?! They had graves in Egypt, you know? It wasn’t so bad there after all.”
In one of my favorite “scenes” of the Bible, God delivers them . . . and teaches them a lot about Himself in the process. The COI are thrilled, but no sooner have the praise services and high-fives ended than the COI are singing their same song again, but second verse. This time it’s, “Moses, why did you drag us out here to this crummy place to die?! We don’t have any water!”
Once again, God delivers them . . . and teaches them a lot about Himself. You can guess what happens next. The COI are enjoying their nice refreshing water, when suddenly it occurs to them, “We’re gonna need some food to go along with this water!” “Moses, why did you drag us out here to this crummy place to die?! We had it made in Egypt! We had meat pots (I’m not sure what this is, but being the carnivore that I am, I’m thinking I would have been a big fan) and all the bread we wanted. Man, we had it good in Egypt!” And as you can guess, once again God delivers them. . .and teaches them.
I used to think that the COI were whiners, but put yourself in their sandals. I don’t have to wonder what I would have said if I had been in the desert with my family of five and no water. I would have said, “Moses! What are you doing?! We had water and food in Egypt. I like it better there. I want to go back to the way things were.” Let’s not be too hard on them. We would have done the same thing.
Remember, the COI weren’t in heaven yet. God was taking them there, but there were things He had for them to learn on the way. He never promised to take them from a difficult place to an easier place. In fact,even in the Promised land life was tough.
Brothers and Sisters, we aren’t in the Heaven yet either. Remember, God is delivering us . . . and teaching us a lot about Himself on the way. There is a day when we will enter into perfect and eternal happiness, but that day isn’t here yet. There will be times in life that we think, “Man, I had it good back in Egypt. I don’t like where God has me right now!” But remember, God hasn’t promised to take us (individually or as a church) from a difficult place to an easier place. He has promised to deliver us . . . and teach us a lot about Himself.
So as we’re bound for heaven let’s remember that we aren’t there yet. Let’s not complain about circumstances, but learn about our Deliverer through them. We’ve seen Him deliver us from our greatest problem already. (This is the “good news.”) Let’s heed Moses’ words to the COI, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.” (Ex 14:13)