It turned out that after four hundred and thirty years of children seeing their fathers flogged, mothers weaving mats day in, day out, fathers working under severe pain and strain with their children toiling in the dirt and growing up and repeating the pattern with their own children, God raised up Moses and delivered the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt.
Plague after plague, the Israelites saw God in action fight on their behalf against Pharaoh and the whole land of Egypt. When Pharaoh was tired of the face-off between him and the God of Israel, he finally relented and let the people go.
And so the Israelites journeyed under the direction of Moses with God going before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night.
Not too long after, Pharaoh and all the chariots of Egypt pursued the Israelites and found them encamped near the sea.
When the Israelites saw this, they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to die? Didn’t we tell you to leave us in our slavery? For it would have been better to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the wilderness.’
Nevertheless, God rescued the Israelites and they walked through the sea on dry ground. While the entire company of the Egyptians perished in the sea. Israel again saw the mighty deliverance God wrought on their behalf.
Again and again the Israelites saw God perform wonders amongst them but they complained all the more when they were faced with any kind of challenge: From cursing God about the bitter waters of Meribah and having to eat manna every day, to the ten out of twelve spies who confessed that God wasn’t able to deliver them to the promised land because they were in their own eyes like grasshoppers before the Canaanites.
God was so angry with Israel that the journey to Canaan which was supposed to take forty days took forty years. And so all the adults who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness because they didn’t trust God to perform his word. Only Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who trusted God amongst the twelve spies entered the promised land with a new generation of Israelites.
You know, I asked myself over and over again why the Israelites were so stubborn and blind. I mean they saw God move in an unusual way, time and time again. I just couldn’t understand why they couldn’t trust God. They went on complaining and murmuring and arguing.
And then last weekend while I was away on a conference, someone said, ‘Why do you think it was so hard for the Israelites to trust God?’
I sat up immediately, waiting to hear it. And he said so simply, ‘The Israelites had been in bondage for so long. They didn’t understand freedom.’
Wow! It was profound to me but still inexcusable. But I see it happen every time.
You know that saying, ‘Dont let your background put your back on the ground?’
It’s like what happened to the Israelites. Or like what happens to a wild animal that has been chained for a really long time. The chain leaves their neck and goes around their hearts so that even when they are set free, they are unable to move.
Don’t let that happen to you! Don’t let your current situation confine you. Where you’re at is not your final destination. It’s your process! It’s your journey but don’t let it become your prison. Walk through your process, trust God and come out if it. You can’t manifest or move forward if you’re locked to your past. Move forward! Even while you’re in that situation, keep telling yourself you’re coming out and you will break out.
There’s definitely Canaan outside the walls of Egypt. So don’t stay confined in your wilderness.