In the late 70's the contemporary Christian music took off. I was a big fan. I am so thankful that I had the influence of Christian music during my teen years. Some of my favorite artists then were Benny Hester, Amy Grant, Kelly Willard, Roby Duke, The Archers and 2nd Chapter of Acts to name a few. But there was another up and coming singer that had a song that to this day that often comes to mind when I read the story of the Moses and the children of Israel. The singer is Keith Green and the song is "So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt..." Every time I begin the book of Numbers that song plays in my head. Going back to Egypt was big for the children of Israel.
It seems like every time things didn't seem to go the way they had planned or wanted, they began to complain and the first thing out of their mouths was "Why did you take us out of Egypt? Did you bring us into the desert with no food and water so we could die?" You know that old saying, "misery loves company" was a motto for them, I believe. They cried about being slaves in Egypt then God answered their cry and the next thing they know they're free. Then they complained about being free.
As I'm reading through these scriptures, my first reaction is to respond with "can't you be grateful? God answered your prayers by getting you out of Egypt." Then I realize, I'm no different! It is actually too familiar. I too am guilty of crying out to God for freedom in areas of my life and when I get them, I find something else to complain about.
What is really interesting to me is after Moses sends 12 men to spy out the promised land. Ten of the twelve came back with a negative perspective. Numbers 13:31- 33 says "But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” God had already told them that was where He was taking them, but the fear of the people canceled out the promise of God. This was insulting to God that they would believe that man had more authority and power than the One who divided the Red Sea.
Numbers 14:1-9 says, "That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
Those ten guys spoke so negative about the place God had promised to give them that it literally spread like a disease throughout the camp and God was angry. Numbers 14:10-12 says, "But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” God was so angered by these ten men and the negativity they spread throughout the camp, that God decided to cut them off from their inheritance. He told them that no one from that generation could enter the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:29 &30). Wow, I bet that was a shock for those people. Now they will spend forty years wandering around in the desert and will never get to see, let alone live in the Promised Land.
What a wake up call for me! What kind of negative words have I spread throughout my circle of friends and family? Have I caused some to be cut off from God? God has given us His Word so that we can learn from it. They did not get to see the promise of God fulfilled because of their attitudes and disobedience. God was angry because they refused to remember and recognize the miracles He had been doing everyday since they left Egypt.
God has done more miraculous things in my life than I could ever count. The biggest miracle was sending His Son to deliver us from eternal death. Because of what Jesus did for mankind at Calvary, and because I believe and he is my savior, I will get to enter my eternal Promised Land. Yet I still complain. It is not about me. Its about others in my life. Have I said something that might cause someone else to doubt? I hope not, but that is the problem with words, once they are out there, you can't take them back. Personally, I want to be much more responsible for the words that I speak. I think if the Church were a bit more responsible for our attitudes and what comes out of our mouths, we'd see more people come to Jesus, more healing miracles and more power, in Body of Christ.
I admit, I've wished for the "good ole' days" and wishing things could be like they used to be. Instead, I should remember God's faithfulness in those days and be thankful for today, even though it may seem difficult. Jesus said the last days would be like a woman in labor. The birth pains are getting closer together. We are much closer to the "eternal promised land" than we think. I don't want to complain anymore. I want to change my attitude. I'll start now by saying, "no, I don't wanna go back to Egypt."