Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt? Numbers 14:3
As believers in Christ, we sometimes are equally guilty of this thoughtless statement that the Israelites made in today’s main text. We say things like, “Life was better when I was in the world.” “I had more money/friends/businesses when I was an unbeliever.” We make it look like God ‘interrupted’ our otherwise good life and so, we yearn and cry out for ‘those’ days, wishing we can have them again. We relive past glories in our minds and wonder why those days were better. Sometimes, we even threaten God that we’ll go back to the world (Egypt) because of certain challenges we encounter.
However, is it really true that life was better in ‘Egypt’? Of course, we had friends, money and great business deals, but we also had pains in our hearts – the fear of death, bondage to bad habits, the shame of dealing with addictions, the lack of inner peace, the anxieties we suffered, the depression within and especially being exposed to Satan’s manipulations. For the Israelites, they had cucumbers in Egypt but they also had floggings, they ate garlic but were slaves, they had shelters but lost their first sons to a cruel king.
God expressed His displeasure at the complaints of the Israelites because it showed they were an ungrateful bunch who lacked faith in the God who brought them out of slavery. Also, God is displeased when we yearn to go back to the world because it shows we are not fully committed and we lack faith in Him. King Solomon said that we do not inquire wisely anytime we ask, “Why are the former days better than now?” (Ecclesiastes 7:10). It is foolish to keep pinning for what we left behind in the world because nothing compares to our new life in Christ.
We must never forget that life in Christ, no matter what temporary challenges it poses, is far more glorious than life in ‘Egypt’ no matter what comfort it promises. We must never lose focus of eternity and must remember that life in Christ holds a promise here and also in the life to come. God’s plans for us are good; He is able to do far more for us than all we ever did for ourselves as unbelievers. We only have to endure, be steadfast and not become weary in doing His will, because in the long run we will receive what He has promised us (Hebrews 10:35-36). Don’t mortgage your eternity for temporary thrills.
I Kings 18:20-21, Romans 6:21-23, & II Peter 2:20-22
+ Ask for mercy if you have fallen into the trap of yearning to go back to the world because of the challenges you are going through as a believer.
+ Ask for grace to remain steadfast in doing the will of God and for an enduring faith that will take you to the finish line of your Christian race.