Historically, Passover commemorates the time when the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. The Israelites who followed the command of God to kill a lamb, take its blood, and brush the blood on the two doorposts and on the lintel of their houses were spared (Exodus 12:7). The death of the firstborn is the tenth and the final plague that God had sent. This plague had finally convinced the Egyptian Pharaoh to let the Israelites go and journey to the land of promise.
A people of murmuring and complaining
After hundreds of years of slavery, the Israelites triumphantly and joyously left Egypt. However, their joy did not last long. After coming out of Egypt, they have faced the Red Sea, and Pharaoh was adamant in bringing the Israelites back and making them their slaves again. Their celebration quickly turned to murmuring and complaining:
Exodus 14:11-12: Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
There is no doubt that the Israelites are walking by sight and not by faith. However, God showed them that He is the mighty and POWERFUL God who can do awesome and unbelievable miracles. The Red Sea parted, and so they were able to escape. Not only that, but the Egyptians were killed and buried in the sea.
This was one of the many episodes where the Israelites murmured and complained. As we will see, they had a consistent track record of wanting their own ways and rebelling against God (Exodus 16:2; Numbers 11:1-4; Numbers 14:2; Psalms 106:25; Numbers 21:4-6).
A people bent on Idolatry
Another predominant sin of Israel is idolatry. Centuries of being immersed in the Egyptian land had calloused the hearts of the Israelites and made them learn the ways of the heathen. After just months of witnessing first-hand the power and might of God, they quickly turn to idolatry and bitterly paid the price.
Exodus 32:1: Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
Thankfully, God’s wrath was quenched, and the Israelites were not completely destroyed because of their sins. However, idolatry will continuously plague the land of Israel and will eventually be one of the reasons they will be defeated by their enemies.
Are you spiritually dragging Egypt?
The story of the Israelites coming out of Egypt is full of spiritual meanings and symbolisms. Egypt is a type of this evil world. Pharaoh who rules Egypt is a type of Satan who also presently controls this present age. God calls us to come out from this world and live a blessed life in a spiritual promise land (II Corinthians 6:17).
When we answered God’s calling and decided to live a life pleasing to Him, we are also spiritually coming out of Egypt. When we finally made the commitment to follow God during our baptism, it is no longer us who lives but Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).
However, how often have we find ourselves dragging Egypt with us? We have seen how the Israelites physically went out from Egypt, but they have brought Egypt with them through their attitude and weak character.
As the Passover approaches, we need to examine ourselves and ask the following questions:
- Are we dragging Egypt with us?
- How much of Egypt or sin are we still entertaining in our lives?
- Are we too quick to murmur and complain to God when things don’t seem to go our way?
- Are we becoming idolatrous by putting something between God and us?
- When we look back a year ago, are we spiritually getting stronger or weaker?
These are just some of the important questions we need to ask ourselves. Change is not easy. It is a process that will last our whole lifetime. The Israelites clearly brought Egypt with them but are we committing the same mistake?
We need to live a life of OVERCOMING sin. Slowly but surely, we will get there with the help of God. So let us all strive to stop dragging Egypt with us and live a more blessed life in the Promised Land!