And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Following the Lord is not always an easy journey. Yes, we enjoy many blessings and joys, but our path is often littered with obstacles, trials, stumblingblocks, maybe even huge mountains or wide rivers, with enemies all around. The Israelites had come all this way. They’d traveled far from Egypt and witnessed amazing miracles performed by God on their behalf. And when the going gets tough, some are ready to pack it in, give it all up in order to return to where they had come from.
Sometimes we may feel that same desire to turn back. Wherever God has led us, we may find ourselves up against a difficult situation and feel too weak or afraid to keep going forward. Things may not have turned out how we expected, or maybe we’re overwhelmed by problems. We begin to doubt God and lose faith, heart, and hope. We feel we cannot go on, so we are ready to give up.
But how foolish it would have been for the nation of Israel to return to Egypt. How quickly they forgot the bondage of slavery they were in. Certainly they would not have been welcomed with open arms back to the country God had delivered them from. Do we really want to go back after God has brought us so far? Have we forgotten how we’ve gotten to where we are? It was not by our own power. It was not without God’s strength and His leading. And if He has brought us this far, surely He will enable us to keep going.
We are all called to leave our old lives behind, our old carnal, sinful selves. We are to leave behind the habits that ensnared us, the attitudes that hindered us, the unbelief that once separated us from God. We are not to go back to old sins, and we are not to turn back from where God has called us to go. In the midst of struggles, our Egypt may be appealing because it is something familiar, something we’ve built up in our mind to seem better than it really was. But it would be pointless to go back into the bondage that once held us captive there.
There are many warnings in Scripture about turning back. If we’ve left something behind, let’s leave it there. If we’ve moved forward, let’s not go back to the former things. Let’s press on, building our faith, relying on God, trusting His leading, and keep going forward. There is a much better blessing awaiting us if we would only persevere.