We Were Better Off In Egypt
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Isra’el looked up and saw the Egyptians right there, coming after them. In great fear the people of Isra’el cried out to YHVH and said to Moshe, “Was it because there weren’t enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the desert? Why have you done this to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we tell you in Egypt to let us alone, we’ll just go on being slaves for the Egyptians? It would be better for us to be the Egyptians’ slaves than to die in the desert!” Moshe answered the people, “Stop being so fearful! Remain steady, and you will see how YHVH is going to save you. He will do it today — today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again! YHVH will do battle for you. Just calm yourselves down!” ~ Sh’mot (Exodus) 14:10-14
From the beginning of the Exodus the Children of Isra’el grumbled against Moshe and continued to proclaim that they would have been better off as slaves in Egypt.
There in the desert the whole community of the people of Isra’el grumbled against Moshe and Aharon. The people of Isra’el said to them, “We wish YHVH had used his own hand to kill us off in Egypt! There we used to sit around the pots with the meat boiling, and we had as much food as we wanted. But you have taken us out into this desert to let this whole assembly starve to death!” ~ Sh’mot (Exodus) 16:2,3
Coming to Torah can be very much like this journey they went through. The Children of Isra’el has a goal to reach; The Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. We, as Torah observant followers of Yeshua, should also have this goal.
Through their journey and wandering in the desert, the Children of Isra’el were given the Torah; YHVH’s instructions for living righteously. We read that in that journey they continuously looked back at what they had in Egypt. Though in slavery, it was a “better life”. What does the Torah teach us about looking back?
When they had brought them out, he said, “Flee for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain, but escape to the hills! Otherwise you will be swept away.” ~ B’resheet (Genesis) 19:17
He overthrew those cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities and everything growing in the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a column of salt. ~ B’resheet (Genesis) 19:25
Lot’s family was instructed by the Angels not to look back. The consequences of looking back was to be “swept away” with those cities. Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a column of salt.
When Believers new to Torah start looking back at what they once had, it’s easy to see why they turn back. This journey through following and observing Torah is the same journey the Children of Isra’el made. We are heading toward the Promised Land; his Eternal Kingdom, through Torah yet still, some on this journey continue to look back and cry out saying, “we had it better”. We tend to lose friends, fellowships, familiarity, comfort, and even family when we come out of the Religious systems. It’s a narrow path.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14
Most new Believers are met with scoffers and debaters; often times those closest to them. Some argue that by knowing more of the Bible and having the ability to quote from it is bad. Heaven forbid! They are met with individuals who claim that by knowing the Word better than most Christians, they have to be in some kind of cult. Yet, when they list out the characteristics of a cult and how cults recruit, they tend to forget these ‘tactics’ are the same ones used by mainstream Churchianity. Loving acceptance, bright lights and entertainment, a feeling of community and connection. Not armed with enough knowledge or perseverance, these Believers have the true apostasy in them. They look back and fall away like the the Children of Isra’el in the desert sometimes begrudging the ones who led to find Torah.
Didn’t we tell you in Egypt to let us alone, we’ll just go on being slaves for the Egyptians? It would be better for us to be the Egyptians’ slaves than to die in the desert!” ~ Sh’mot (Exodus) 12:12
We must have the spirit of Moshe when we encounter new Believers who think they “had it better” in the former life.
Moshe answered the people, “Stop being so fearful! Remain steady, and you will see how YHVH is going to save you. He will do it today — today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again! YHVH will do battle for you. Just calm yourselves down!” ~ Sh’mot (Exodus) 14:13,14
Our wonderful Creator will do battle for us but we must still be armed with the truth. And, how does scripture define “truth”?
Your righteousness is righteousness forever, And Your Torah is truth. ~ Psalm 119:142
Don’t look back! When the times comes that we must “flee to hills”, we cannot look back then as Lot’s wife did.
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a column of salt. ~ B’resheet (Genesis) 19:25
There are conditions we must follow. It’s a narrow path but it is not burdensome. Remember, while the Children of Isra’el were looking back, they were looking back at how “good they had it” in slavery!
Moshe went up to God, and YHVH called to him from the mountain: “Here is what you are to say to the household of Ya‘akov, to tell the people of Isra’el: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you will be a kingdom of cohanim for me, a nation set apart.’ These are the words you are to speak to the people of Isra’el.” Sh’mot (Exodus 19:3)