In the Bible in the book of Exodus, we read about the amazing account of God delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The movie the “Ten Commandments” (1956) starring Charlton Heston, gives us a glimpse of the plagues that God sent upon the Egyptians. The Israelites were witness to the “Greatness of God”, and miracles. They saw water turn to blood, the plagues of frogs, flies, boils, and finally the death of the first-born son. After these events they cross the Red Sea on dry land after God parts the waters for them. These were all miraculous signs – miraculous deliverance. If you’re not familiar with these events you can read about them in the first 15 chapters of the book of Exodus.
God took them out of slavery, out of captivity, and out of oppression. God miraculously delivered them, leading them to freedom and a better life. But a few days/weeks into this trip an interesting thing begins to happen.
The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’S hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
They were saying back in Egypt things were better. We had food enough to eat. WHAT? They were slaves? They were living under oppression. They were looking back on their past life remembering fondly the “good times.”
Let us not act so “spiritual” here and judge them to harshly. We do the same thing. When we become born again, we too have been brought out of slavery. For many of us God has delivered us from the bondage in many areas: debt, illicit sex, pornography, a bad/abusive relationship, drugs, alcoholism, or gambling, lying, cheating, gossiping. These are just examples, the list could go on and on. Praise God, He is a delivering/freeing God!
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
God sets us free, delivering us from the captivity and slavery of sin! The problem is just like the Israelites we begin to look back, we too start to look at the “good times.” We romanticized it. We long to go back, just to get a little taste. Proverbs tells us we are fools to think this way.
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
It is dangerous thinking. The Apostle Peter warns us:
2 Peter 2:20-22
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
Now this is not talking about a one-time incident. It is talking about returning and participating in what you have been delivered from. When we are tempted to look back, we need to remind ourselves of the words of the Apostle Paul:
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
The Old is Gone!
The New has Come!
Glory to God!
The writer of Hebrews tells us:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
So today instead of looking back, look ahead. We need to look at what we have been delivered into, an awesome relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Don’t look back, but fix our eyes on Jesus. For whom the Son has set free is free indeed! Choose Life not bondage, slavery, captivity.
Maybe you struggle with looking back, pray this today:
Lord thank you for delivering me from my past, I praise You, that the old is gone and I’m a new creation. Please help me let go of the past, strengthen me now Lord. In Jesus name I cast down thoughts that don’t line up with the Word of God. Thank you Lord I am Free from my past. I praise you Lord, for this new life. Hallelujah! I choose today to fix my eyes on Jesus. I pray all things in Jesus Name. Amen!