Post originally published on Carl Clay’s blog, My Truth Be Told.
Exodus 16:3 NLT version: “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt, ” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
Exodus 14:11-12 NLT version: 11) And they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12) Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!”
Wow!!! Did you read that? If you know the story of Moses and how he freed the Israelites out of Egypt; can you imagine any of the Israelites making these statements?
I was thinking today about these very statements because I continue to hear people say, “It’s better to vote for what you do know than for what you don’t know.” Maybe you yourself, or a friend of yours; a family member has said this with a laugh…maybe even with belief.
I’m not writing this to point anyone to vote for a specific candidate. I am sharing to encourage all of us to think before we act. The wilderness was the unknown, yet that is exactly where God directed the path of the Israelites and it was for their benefit and for His purpose. God led them through the wilderness because He knew if they were faced with battle immediately after being freed, they would change their minds and return to Egypt. The easy road, the shortest route and main road that they could have used would have led them through the Philistine territory; this would have been bad from the start.
God freed them and was leading their steps. He continued to provide for them and displayed His Glory for their benefit and for a deeper trust and belief in Him. However, each time the road got difficult and the wilderness proved too “unknowing,” their memory of the greatness of God became instant amnesia.
The Israelites preferred to go back into slavery because at least there they knew what they were getting. They were completely dependent on the Pharaoh’s hand to feed and provide for them and because of the unknown of their new freedom, they were ready to go back to that dependency. They were ready to go back to the beatings and being treated like dogs because at least they knew what to expect…freedom suddenly wasn’t important.
The Israelites were crying for freedom while they were slaves and then complaining about their freedom once they had it because they had to depend on faith in God, their deliverer, instead of the punishment and ruling hand of Pharaoh.
Is it really better to choose a candidate or any option just for the sake of, “at least I know what I’m getting?”
There is a path to freedom and it usually is not the short cut or the fastest route. It usually requires faith that will be tested along the way. The unknown is not always a bad thing and sometimes it is actually the perfect will of God for our lives. It may not come wrapped in our ideal or what we would have expected. I believe we are not too far off from making the same statements that the Israelites made. I actually believe we are there. Those are our words, it’s our instant amnesia when the unknown becomes too great and we are too quick to settle for the safety of what we were and how it was no matter the loss of freedom that comes with those decisions.
I’ll take freedom in the wilderness over slavery in the suburbs. I’ll choose faith in God over the ruling hand that feeds me portions and creates dependency. May our amnesia lift, the cloud of doubt depart and we remember the greatness & glory of our deliverer so we always choose the unknown of Christ over the slavery and bondage that held us captive.
— Carl Clay