We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt. Numbers 14:4
Sound familiar? You've been on a journey to possess God's promises. You’ve arrived at the brink of victory but you're ready to throw in the towel. The trip took longer and was much harder than anticipated. The Israelites experienced this. The Promised Land was right in front of them; however, there was still one obstacle – giants. The benefits the land offered were outweighed by the size of its inhabitants. The result – the Israelites wanted to go back home to Egypt. Was that really a viable option?
For starters, they were in the wilderness. They only knew where to go because the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night guided them. Had anyone, assuming someone had the skill and supplies, charted their course? Probably not. How can you return to where you came from when you don't really know where you are right now? Without maps or a
the means to navigate was the placement of the sun and the stars. Possible
landmarks, a trail of trash and some luck – not really good alternatives.
Then there's the Red Sea. Divine intervention got them across the first time. Without any means of water transportation, how could they cross this barrier again?
Last, but certainly not least, were the Egyptians. Would their adversaries welcome them back? My guess, the word Hebrew was now a dirty word in
Thanks to their former slaves the country suffered repeated plagues that
destroyed the economy and landscape. The army dispatched to bring them back
took a bath in the Red Sea and was no more. Even if they could return, what
made the Israelites think the Egyptians would let them in?
It is interesting that despite all their dissatisfaction with their present situation, no one was ready to jump out and lead the charge back to Egypt. This makes sense. It is safer to complain and wait for someone else to make that first step. If things work out, fine. If not, it’s better to have another to blame. After all we were just following orders. It is not our fault if things didn't go as planned.
Turning back to retreat is seldom the right move. To much has transpired between the time we left Point A and our arrival at the outskirts of Point B. We're not the same. If we could make it back to Point A we'd never be satisfied, haunted by the reality that success had been in our grasp. Cowardice makes a strange bedfellow.
Fortunately God prevented His people from making a very serious mistake. His solution wasn't pretty. They suffered the consequences of their unbelief but their descendents were spared a return to bondage. We face giants in our lives and retreat is never an option. God directs us to our Promised Land that is only possessed via His supernatural power and strategies. Have some of you, like me, waited long enough? Now is the time to move forward and take the land.
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