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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

HOW CAN ONE NOT RETURN TO EGYPT?


 

Today’s Reading:

Exodus 13:17-22

".... When Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, … Lest they change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt". (v. 17)

 


Egypt is a very old nation, whose existence dates back to the Old Testament days, of about 4,000 years. It is located at the extreme north of the African continent. It was a very wealthy, prominent, strong culture, where the worship of idols was very visible. Today, Egypt is solely an Islamic nation. Due to a famine in those days, the children of Israel ended up living in Goshen within Egypt, as a result of Joseph’s invitation, being a prominent personality in the nation then, even though he had arrived there as a slave some twenty years before. (Gen 39). Even though the Israelites arrived Egypt as free men and women, they were turned to slaves when a new ruler, Pharaoh, came to power, and who did not know Joseph who brought them. They experienced very hard labour and ill-treatment from the Egyptian slave-drivers, for about 400 years, after which God arranged for their rescue.


God appeared in a burning bush to Moses, an Israeli-born, raised in Pharaoh's palace, who then was in exile, but was instructed to go back to rescue his people from Egypt. Through the performance of great wonders (plagues) by God through Moses and his brother Aaron, the last being the death of the first born of both human and animals of the Egyptians, Pharaoh finally released the Israelites to go out of Egypt, to a land Moses said God had given his people, through a promise to their ancestors. The whole company of the Israelites left Egypt, on foot, towards the "Promised land" in Canaan. In today’s Text, in v17, it reads that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines (who had giants among them and were fearsome warriors). Even through the way was nearer to their destination, God knew that the people could change their minds when they saw war, and thereby return to Egypt. “Egypt”, in the physical represents the land of bondage, to the Israelites. However, in the spiritual realm it can connote a spiritual bondage including idol worship (especially as the Israelites worshipped the numerous idols in Egypt while living there); loss of faith/salvation, poverty, sickness and diseases, destruction of life.


Relating to the believer’s world, what are those things that can make him return to Egypt in his life and circumstances? These can include; doubt, unbelief, inconvenience of life, greed, pleasures, affluence, suffering, lack of appropriate knowledge of the things of God, deception, instability in faith, oppression and persecution, warfare/attacks. Retuning to "Egypt" for a believer connotes losing his salvation/faith in Christ and going back to the world and shunning the things of God. The above listed can cause or motivate the return to "Egypt" in one's life. While it is easier to relate to a return in the physical to one's "Egypt", the Scripture in Acts 7:39, tells us of the possibility of returning/turning back in the heart. Here, works of the devil, through doubt, unbelief, deception, affliction, become vivid.


How can one not return to Egypt?

First step is to be truly born-again, with incorruptible seed, through the word of God (Rom 10:9-20,14; 1 Tim 2:4-6; 1Pet. 2:23). Next is to desire the milk of the word (1Pet. 2:2), next is to strive to grow, by using solid food (meat) (Heb 5:13-14). During the growth process, there is need to be steadfast in faith (1Pet. 5:9) striving to live a holy and perfect life (1Pet. 1:16). Also, as God demands, having the true understanding of faith in God which includes: suffering for and with Christ (1Pet. 2:21); conscious that faith will be tested (1Pet. 1:7); expecting trials (1Pet. 4:12); need to rest one’s hope fully upon the grace given through Christ (1Pet. 1:13).


Gladly, there are rewards for those who would not return to "Egypt" and these include: rejoicing and not ashamed when Christ is revealed at the end (1Pet. 4:13); call to God's eternal glory by Christ Jesus (2 Cor 4:17); eternal life (1 John 2:25); and crowns (of glory, righteousness, incorruptible, life). As believers, we need to strive hard never to return to "Egypt", the world and its entanglements.

CHRISTIE KUPOLUYI

 

Prayer:

  1. God is my light and my salvation; Whom shall, I fear?

  2. Father, thank You for calling me out of darkness into Your marvellous light.

  3. Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice that took us out of the world and reconciled us to the Father, in Jesus name.

  4. Father, may I never look back to Egypt/ world for any reason till the end, in Jesus name.

  5. Heavenly Father help me to overcome all those factors that may make me return to darkness and the world, in Jesus name.

  6. O Lord empower the Church and give her the boldness to rise to dispel darkness in the world and win souls for Your kingdom in Jesus name.

  7. In Your mercy and by the blood of Jesus, O Lord take control in the lives of every Christian child, teenager and young adult, teach them the way of the Lord to the glory of Your holy name, in Jesus name.

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