Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Sometimes, despite protests to the contrary, we really have no desire to be free. We sacrifice freedom for safety and security and a life of comfort and calm. We depend on government and law to protect us from those that harm us and we depend on our employers to see to our material needs. We love our grocery stores and discount stores and paved roads and air conditioned homes with two car garages with room for a boat. Why would anyone want to get free of all that?
What we fail to realize is that we have these things because we are slaves. We have been laboring so long in the land of Egypt that we have forgotten what it means to be free.
For most of a year, Moses and his brother Aaron labored alongside the Lord to bring His people, Israel, out of slavery in the land of Egypt and into a new life where their only leader was the Lord God and their only life was one of uncertainty and trusting in His guidance. The proposition was a scary one. I can imagine that many of these people thought, "we can trust a God we cannot see and go with Him to who knows where or we can stay here in the peace and safety and plenty of this land of prosperity building monuments to dying kings."
The choice was one of trusting in uncertain circumstances versus no trust required. It would have been a no brainer for many. Why give up all of this to wander in a desert toward a place we have never heard of, lead by a God that we cannot see? Is all that suffering and uncertainty really necessary?
In the end, they decided to go, but all the way along the road people had second thoughts. Those regretful moments began on day one at the shore of the Red Sea and they continued throughout their 40 year journey.
Day One - 1 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!”
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
Most of you probably know that this attitude of fear and doubt among the people and their never ending desire to appeal to the power of the state to protect them, feed them and save them, did not end well. Of all those that came out of Egypt on that day, only two families of that generation ever saw the promised land. The others of that generation died in the desert in their rebellion against a God that had set them free. Only Caleb and Joshua with their families were spared and this for their obedience and lack of fear. It was them that lead the second generation to the promised land.
You might ask, "So what's your point Jeff?"
Last year I stood at the shore of my "Red Sea" deciding whether I would obey the Lord and cross over into an age of uncertainty and adventure with Him as my only guide. I decided to cross. I trusted the Lord and His people with my last secret and I went to the desert with Him and everyone else.
Now there are many that want to go back. They want to appeal to Pharaoh to save them rather than trust in the Lord our God for our journey. To this I say, Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
The time is now to obey the Lord. Please come with me. Enjoy the security that comes with trusting in the Lord. It will not be what you were used to in Egypt, but one day you will have a land of your own flowing with milk and honey. Turn away from the kings of this world and put your eyes on Jesus. He is our King and Our Savior. Do not stand there crying out to Him. Rather, move forward in faith to an uncertain future in the desert with only Him as your guide.
Are you ready to go? Or do you still want to seek Pharaoh's permission one more time?