As I read these chapters today a continual thought kept going through my head. The Israelites wanted to return to Egypt. No matter the warnings or the declarations and promises of doom and destruction by God; they were determined to return to Egypt. We are several generations away from their ancestors who were delivered from Egypt and yet the same thing which kept their ancestors wandering for 40 years in the desert, is still the root of their upcoming demise; the desire to return to Egypt.
There are lots of historical significance’s in these chapters, but in my usual style, I couldn’t help but wonder about the application for my life. Do I long for Egypt like the Israelites do? Not the literal Egypt, but those things that call me continually, those things that pull me to another time, another situation, and away from God? Is there an Egypt in my life? Do I long for a time or a place of years gone by? Am I following in the footsteps of my parents, grandparents in areas that I should not be following? Am I longing for a time when life was better, easier, more manageable, with less bumps in the road?
I would like to challenge each of you to go before the Lord today and ask Him to reveal to you the Egypt’s in your life. Maybe you will find you have none, but I suspect we all have a little longing for Egypt in our lives. I confess I do. And may I share with you, that as I sat here quietly asking God to show me it was only a matter of seconds before my Egypt’s were beginning to roll before my eyes. Some I recognized right away and understood from the git-go, yep that’s an Egypt. But others were so subtle, that without this time spent before God, I would never have recognized them for what they were.
I think there are phrases that will help us in recognizing the Egypt’s in our lives, comments like – “I probably should never have…”, “Sometimes I long for …”, “Remember when…”, “If only God would have given me…, or let me…., or shown me… then…”. “Why, God?” These statements are not always a reflection of longing for a time when life was better, but certainly could be. And, I suspect theses are not the only indicators. Ask God to stop you, to help you recognize those times when the things you are saying are really a reflection of a longing for an Egypt in your life. Remember the Egypt’s in our lives are those thing we long for when, in our perspective, life was better; life was easier; life was more comfortable; more to our liking”.
Let me share with you an example from my own life – health? I have some physical challenges brought on by lots of things, some of it my own choosing and some I had nothing to do with. I often find myself wishing for ease of motion, no pain, a life when I could do more, etc. This in and of themselves is not bad and fairly normal. It never really struck me until this morning that what I was saying to God is, “Hey God, I liked it better when life was better!” – implication – “God, why aren’t you taking care of me?” “God, why did you let this happen?” “God, life was better when” God, why can’t I have what I had before?” Sound familiar? Because I am spending so much time longing for a life I had when, that I am missing the opportunities which God has for me right here, right where I am, in whatever condition I am in.
The bottom line is, God can do much with a life that is totally surrendered to Him. But, He can’t do much with us if we are always longing to return to things or times gone past; an Egypt. Those Egypt’s become stumbling blocks to all God has for us.
Here is to leaving Egypt once and for all!
I would love to hear the Egypt discoveries in your own lives. Please feel free to share a comment or two.
Until next time – Be encouraged.