Recently I have been reading through Exodus – a book of the Bible I have come across many times before – but it’s interesting how often one can learn something new.
There are two aspects to this story that have recently stood out to me.
Here, the Isrelites complain that they should have been left in Egypt to be mis-treated as slaves – a life they considered preferable to the situation they found themselves in. I have always found this a really strange comment and situaion. Having seen God perform many miracles to secure their release from Egypt, to then be in a situation where they do not trust God to deliver them from the situation they find themselves in.
Whilst this point hasn’t necessarily been answered, what had not occurred to me before was that the Isrelites had been led out of Egypt following 400 years of being enslaved. Generation-after-generation who only knew slavery and captivity as a way of life. Generation-after-generation who would not know what freedom would look like for them – whoul would have been insecure not knowing what lay before. I also wonder, if they had known of what lay ahead – 40 years of wilderness – how many would have turned back at that point?
It makes me wonder how often in my life, if God were to reveal my future, whether I might have trouble trusting and obeying.
What strikes me about this whole chapter, is that following release from Egypt, that God’s immediate plan for the Istelites was not to lead them into the Promised Land, but instead had a tent built in which they could spend time with Him. God wished to dwell with His people before they were led into the Promised Land.
If we look at Jesus’ death on the cross and what that means for us in this context, it would seem as though through His death and resurection, we are able to be in a relationship with our Heavenly Father – we can dwell with Him – and that God wants to dwell with us, before we reach the Promised Land.