“It’s better to be a slave in Egypt, than a corpse in the wilderness.”
Life is always uncertain. We are not guaranteed tomorrow and not knowing what tomorrow brings, can bring fear. The people of Israel experienced this first hand in the book of Exodus. They were slaves in Egypt and cried out to God to save them. God sent Moses and Aaron to display His awesome power to Pharaoh and the officials of Egypt [Exodus 6 – 11]. Pharaoh finally agreed to let the people go and everything seemed to be going well. Not long after the Israelites left, Pharaoh changed his mind and decided to pursue the people of God. When the Israelites saw this, they started complaining to Moses:
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
– Exodus 14:12-12
Even after all that God had done for them, the people were quick to fear what God had called them to overcome. They forgot that God is for them. Let me take a second and express something that may be true for you also – FEAR IS REAL. I know that sounds silly, of course it is real, but let me explain. Fear in your life and mine, has the power to make us lose our focus. It’s power can make us forget everything that gave us hope in the first place. It is not something that should be allowed to run rampant in our life. Fear makes even the most resolute man question everything. It is a powerful emotion.
The Israelites had every reason to trust God, He had provided for them when they asked and delivered them from the Egyptians. In the face of fear, they decided it was better to live in slavery than face the possibility of death. You may feel the same way. That living life slaved to something (addiction, pain, hurt, loss, etc.) is better than living in the fear of death (failure, rejection etc.). In the midst of all your worry and fear, I want to encourage you the same way Moses encouraged the Israelites:
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
– Exodus 14: 13-14
Don’t be afraid! The Lord is here to rescue you! The problems you face today will be fought by your God who loves you more than you will ever know. No matter what is staring you down, God is there to fight for you. He will provide a way for you, and His way will make His glory known to all who see. To think, your challenges and problems will allow God to display His amazing love and power so that others will know that it wasn’t by your power but by His.
My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the lord!”
– Exodus 14:17-18
Remember, the “wilderness” is where God is calling you. He has promised to take care of you and deliver you. No matter what fear throws at you, just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you. You are loved beyond anything you can comprehend. Never forget that!