The Children of Israel had every reason to believe. God rescued them in a powerful and mighty way, which should have given them ample reason to trusting in His ability to deliver them. They watched the Red Sea part and it come crashing down on the Egyptian army. They saw the display of power above Mount Sinai and felt the fear of approaching its boundaries. They heard the frightening voice of God speak the Ten Commandments so that they begged Moses to speak to God so they would not have to hear God speak again.
Despite all of these reasons to believe, they didn’t. They didn’t believe God could overcome the giants in the land. They didn’t trust God’s promises concerning delivering the land into their ownership. They complained when they were hungry, when they were thirsty, and when they grew tired of God’s provided food. They repeatedly begged to go back and live in Egypt.
Why would a people want to go back to their land of slavery instead of move forward to a “land flowing with milk and honey?” Why would they choose definite misery over promised hope? It baffles us when we read the story.
Yet, we do the same thing. We choose to dwell in the certainty of the past (even when that past is not wonderful) because we are unsure about the future. We will often seek the comfort of constancy instead of the promise of betterment. We become pleased with the status quo instead of what is potentially better about the future.
The problem with this human characteristic is when it interferes with God’s plans for our future. Like the Israelites, God has promised us a “paradise,” a “place of rest,” and a “feast.” God has promised us a better end than our beginning. But to get there, we must trust in Him. We must believe in His promises. We must go His way, do His things, and live His will. We must eliminate our security with our past, our comfort with our present, and be only content with God’s future. Then we can truly seek His paradise.
The reality is our past is slavery. Slavery to sin. Slavery to selfish desires. Slavery to the Adversary. Slavery to guilt, pain, and worry. It is our Egyptian bondage.
Our future is a “land flowing with milk and honey.” It is a place where we will have everything we need, including a God with whom we dwell and who dwells with us. Let’s move forward towards our future.