Back to Egypt
The Sunday school lesson today was based on Numbers 14:1-12. As I was listening to this scripture, I was reminded on a phrase Steve likes to use -- the "back to Egypt Committee." Churches have many back to Egypt committees, and I think they can be compared to the scripture in several ways.
- The Israelites were surrounded -- surrounded! -- by the way God was caring for them in the dessert. They were supplied with food, water, direction, leadership, and the presence of God. None of this mattered -- they wanted to go back to Egypt. I think that they ignored all of these blessings. I also think that we ignore the many blessings around us -- or that sometimes we do.
- All they could see in their future was fear. They didn't imagine that the future might be better than the past, even though the past was slavery. Do we in churches sometimes see the past with such rose-colored glasses that we can't imagine a better future?
- They couldn't trust God enough to take them into the Promised Land. I think trust is necessary for us to move forward and to follow God.
- They weren't able to let go of control. Can we give control of our churches to God?
Their trust of God was so small that they were willing to give up any relationship with God in order to go back to slavery. Does that even make sense? And yet I think we are sometimes like the Israelites.