After the death of Joseph, who God used to save Egypt from a historic famine, future leaders forgot his impact on their country. When Pharaoh Rameses II rose to power, the once favored Jews became enslaved for 400 years. Four centuries leader, God chose a man named Moses to lead Israel to a promised land, free from slavery. Despite this hardship, the Lord was afraid that Israel might change their mind by returning to Egypt and accept a state of misery.
So it happened, when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearer; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war [that is, that there will be war], and return to Egypt,” Exodus 13:17.
Upon the banks of the Red Sea, the Egyptian army was on the verge of surrounding Israel when the hand of God intervened. Like a scene out of a tsunami movie, one million Jews walked to the other side before a wall of water returned to swallow up chariots and soldiers. For the eyewitnesses, this event should have transformed their faith forever. Yet, based upon the words of Moses in Exodus, some began to convince others to return to Egypt rather than trust in God to provide manna from heaven.
Further, he shall not acquire many [war] horses for himself, nor make the people return to Egypt in order to acquire horses [to expand his military power], since the Lord said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again, Deuteronomy 17:16.
As crazy as this may seem, modern believers continue to run away from the hand of God. Despite countless miracles, signs and wonders, the faith of some have become weak. The Lord doesn’t want his people to go back to being enslaved, yet weak minds can cause faith to crumble. Jonah ran away from God in the opposite direction rather than following his call to go to Nineveh. Unfortunately, my own actions reflect a similar pattern, doing what I want to do. If only I would let go and trust God, I will see the hand of God at work rather than running away due to fear.
by Jay Mankus