The Israelits get a bum rap in the book of Exodus. We read of how God delivered them from oppression in Egypt and shake our heads at their seemingly unceasing complaints. “Where there no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here in the wilderness to die?” they seem to repeatedly ask Moses. When Moses disappears into a fiery mountain (think Mt. Doom) for a month we’re amazed when they create a golden calf as the focus of their worship. But I think I finally get it. I think I’m beginning to understand them, or at least why I would have reacted the same were I they.
When I found myself in an untenable position at the church all the signs seemed to indicate I should resign and leave. I did so. It seemed a confirmation and windfall when, less than a week later, a job landed in my lap. I rejoiced. You could say I left Egypt dancing and praising God for His amazing hand. Suddenly, however, I realized that circumstances aren’t what I thought they were. While I enjoy the job, it pays less than what I earned previously and I have a forty-five minute commute. This translates into an extra $400 a month in gas. I find myself in the wilderness, a place where I can’t provide enough to support my family. I look around at the desert and can’t help but wonder if things in Egypt were really all that bad.
Gold and cattle represented provision. I can see where, directionless and faced with starvation, the Israelites would turn to things they were familiar with in an effort to make sense of their circumstances. I’m not saying it wasn’t a sin, but I understand now the why.
Quite honestly, it’s going to take a mana and quail from heaven type miracle in order to get by. I can’t see it. I’m trying very hard to trust God, to focus on Christ … but my wind and waves are so strong right now it’s hard to see the face of Christ.