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… and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.Exodus 16:3
The Israelites left Egypt full of hope and excitement at the thought of new beginnings. No more forced labor. No more trudging through each day in bondage. They were finally free. The God of their forefathers had shown His power and they were eager to follow Him into the wilderness to see what else this journey would entail. God had freed them from bondage and was releasing them into their purpose to become the nation of Israel from which the Messiah would come.
This is what happens when we awaken to the realization that we were created for a special purpose and God wants to go on a journey with us to fulfill it. We are eager to get started, t move out of the things that have held us back for so long; eager to go on a new and exciting adventure with God.
But the trek through the wilderness to the Promised Land isn’t always an easy one. The Israelites had been in bondage for 430 years, and even in slavery, they had food on their tables and clothes on their backs. Soon after leaving Egypt, they ran out of food in the wilderness. And suddenly Egypt looked really good. Never mind the bondage; never mind the whips. At least they had pots of meat and ate bread until they were full.
It’s a big adjustment when you leave a place you have known for so long to go into the unknown. Leaving the past behind often means leaving comfort, familiarity, and security behind to rely solely on God. After the excitement wears off you might be tempted to look back to Egypt.
Sometimes, I’m tempted to go back to Egypt too. When I worked full-time, my fridge was always full, my bills were always paid and I had enough left over to help someone else. I can’t say that has always been the case over the last couple of years.
But if I go back to what I know God has called me out of, I’d be missing out. Missing out on an adventure with God as we trek through the wilderness together, because He promises never to leave me nor forsake me. Missing out on a chance for Him to prove that He is indeed a good, good, Father. One who is well able and fully willing to provide for me in the wilderness.
Both Egypt and the land of Canaan (the Promised Land), were occupied by people who believed that their worship of pagan gods would bring them good crops and multiply their flocks and herds. But God is the only true source of these things. He provided manna in the desert for the Israelites and 40 years and it was more than enough to satisfy them. Let’s resist the temptation to turn back to Egypt and look to other gods. God is the only true source of our provision.
Prayer: Father, help me to trust you to be my provider as I journey with you into my calling. Help me to remember You are always willing and fully able to provide everything I need when I am tempted to return to the comfort, familiarity, and security of the past.
Deborah Ruck @ As Bold As THE Lion blog