The memory of what Joseph had done, had faded from the minds and hearts of the Egyptians. Long forgotten was the fact that through his gifting, the nation had been spared starvation, that he had once been sanctioned by Pharaoh himself to be in charge of not only his house, but his people as well.
No one did scrap booking back then, no one clipped newspaper articles, no photo albums or digital cameras were available, and the human heart as well as the collective consciousness of an entire nation is so quick to forget the good, the blessing, and the wisdom bestowed upon them.
Yes, the deeds of Joseph were long forgotten, and the people of Israel were made to serve with harshness. The crack of whips upon sun scorched backs echoed throughout the land, more and more pronounced as one journeyed toward the valley of the kings. Israel labored, and wept, and bled, making bricks and mortar to satisfy the whims of a soulless king.
Little did the people know that God was preparing a man, a man who would lead the out of Egypt, out of captivity, and guide them to the promised land.
After plagues of blood and frogs, of flies and boils, of locusts and darkness and death, the day finally arrived, and after receiving retroactive pay for their years of servitude in the form of gold, silver and articles of clothing from the Egyptians, they were well on their way.
The journey began, with God leading them and the people followed in orderly ranks, making their way through the wilderness of the red sea. A pillar of cloud led them by day, a pillar of fire by night, the presence of God always before His people.
Though they had seen His presence throughout, rebellion ensued as they saw the armies of Egypt closing in. Their backs to the sea, all eyes on the ever closer dust cloud caused by chariots and men bent on destroying them, the people lost faith, and began to murmur.
In spite of their rebellion, God still proved He was God, by parting the red sea, and over half a million people, actually closer to six hundred thousand, crossed as if on dry land.
Their praise soon turned to murmuring once more, an the children of Israel said to Moses, 'Oh that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Lesson 1. Once the pain ebbs, though some scars may still remain, we soon forget the horrors of Egypt, and remember only those fleeting moments of earthly contentment, like a full stomach, once in a great while.
Lesson 2. Nothing you bring out of Egypt will aid you in surviving your journey through the desert of this life.
Lesson 3. When difficulties appear throughout your journey, rather than reminisce about Egypt, remember the miracles God performed to bring you out of Egypt in the first place.
Yes, Israel had plundered the Egyptians, as per Moses's counsel, but now they were in the desert, and you can't eat gold, and you can't drink hundred dollar bills.
It only takes something as insignificant as a water shortage in this nation, to realize that if we've placed our trust in ourselves, in our security bonds, and retirement accounts, our trust is sorely misplaced.
Only God can give food in the desert, even if it has to rain down from the sky, and only He can give you water from the rock when the rivers have run dry, the aquifers have turned to dust, and no matter how much silver or gold you may have stashed away, there isn't a drop of water to be had.
The story of Israel's exodus is a fascinating one, and many parallels can be drawn, and lessons learned by studying it. Whether God's providence or man's murmuring, God's faithfulness or man's absence of faith, we can learn, and grow, and believe, so that our journey would not take forty years, but that we would reach the promised land in due season, with God continually leading us, and His miraculous works continually encouraging us to press onward.
The treasures we can find, if only we would seek with diligence, the wisdom we might attain if we allow the Word to be our light, is truly limitless.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.