The people of Israel became very thirsty out in the wilderness desert after leaving Egypt with Moses. Their concern was real. “Did you bring us out here to die in the desert, Moses?” At first glance it’s easy to focus on the crabbing and complaining of a fickle people in their loyalty toward God. However, for me the sentiment changes when you add desperation and fear of something very real – without water, you die. It’s nothing to joke about.
The people of Israel’s thirst was very real. Their fear was real. They yearned to be back in Egypt, not because it was a bed of roses, quite the contrary, far from it. In Egypt they were miserable, (and I do mean miserable) slaves. But for all the woes they suffered in Egypt, Egypt did offer them something that the wilderness didn’t, and that quite simply was SAFETY. To go into the wilderness and embark on a journey to the promised land – the land flowing with milk and honey representing peace, fertile soil, plenty and perhaps too, and presumably, a little freedom and prosperity.
To get to the land of promise one had to be willing to learn to trust in God and enter the wilderness where one had to take risks in order to survive. There are always those who would rather go back to Egypt, where it was safe. This interim time is a wilderness time, where we will be challenged also to move our church from the safety of the past to the new future of tomorrow.
PS Please get used to calling me Jarv. It is not disrespectful. I have been called that since elementary school when there were 14 other David’s in my class (you think that’s bad – there were 17 Susans). We have several David’s in our church and this will keep it simple. Pastor Jarv works, too, by the way if you must.