Godís deliverance of Israel was by no means an ordinary task. The miracles and signs that characterized the liberation of Israel from bondage in Egypt were unheard of and these wonders continue to fascinate and thrill us even in this century. Thatís why the plagues, parting of the Red Sea and many other fabulous accounts that relate to the Exodus of Israel are hot favorites in Sunday School.
In spite of the thrills these events offer, there is also evidence in these passages of lack of trust and ingratitude at the Israelite camp. Even after witnessing the most spectacular display of Godís power and might, the company bound to the Promised Land is seen distressing over petty needs like food and water. In fact the trivial hurdles they face depress them so much that the Israelites long to get back to slavery in Egypt. After forty years of rebellion, disobedience and distrust, the entire company of those who set out from Egypt except Joshua and Caleb dies without stepping into the land of Canaan. What a tragic end!
The Bible also talks about another heartbreaking account of someone else who looked back on the good life left behind. Genesis 19: 23-26 narrates the story of Lotís wife who met her end just because she looked back on the sin ridden, prosperous life she was forced to let go. Her desire to take just a glance of her cherished home and dissolute lifestyle turned her to a pillar of salt. How disastrous!
Now you might shake our heads and feel sorry for the unfortunate Israelites and Lotís wife. You might condemn them and feel they deserve what they got. Maybe these accounts make you beam with a sense of self righteousness and you say, Ďsurely I would never have done thatí. However, these stories come as strong reminders; we would do well to reflect on. If God would not tolerate the rebellion and disobedience of people He chose to deliver, He will certainly not spare you or me if we too dare to look back on the life of sin He has brought us out of.
The Christian life is certainly not smooth sailing. There are trials to face, insults to bear and life to lay down. In the midst of these testing experiences, what is your response? Are you looking back at the luxuries of a sin ridden life? Are you dejected to let go of pleasures and passions? Do you tussle with a desire to peep back?
However intense your urge to get back to past sins may be, let Jesusí voice echo in your heart, ďRemember Lotís wife!Ē Luke 17:32
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