“And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt so with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Was this not the word we spoke to 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 to die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:11-12
If it has been awhile or if you have never read it before, take a few minutes to read Exodus 5-12.
God has just shown Himself to the tribes of Israel in Egypt. Not only that of Israel, but to those who were Egyptians it was also apparent that they were dealing with God.
“And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every plant of the field and shattered every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.” Exodus 9:25-26
“And Pharaoh’s servants said to him, How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve Jehovah their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt has vanished?” Exodus 10:7
There was a clear distinguishing between the Egyptians and the Israelites, even Pharaoh’s servants recognized this. So as God had said, they are finally not only allowed to leave and serve Jehovah, but after the Passover they are being asked to leave with haste.
“And he summoned Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Arise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve Jehovah as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians prevailed upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they thought, We shall all die! And the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. And the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And Jehovah had given the people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that they granted their requests. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:31-36
Yet a short period of time goes by and how soon the people have forgotten. The opening verses (Ex. 14:11-12) signifies the hearts of the people. They have seen what God Almighty has done, they have watched as their people are untouched by the plagues, they have plundered the Egyptians, as God said, and now when fear enters their hearts, immediately they assume death is upon them. The plagues were so obvious the work of God that even the unregenerate noticed them early on, yet God’s chosen people have forgotten them so soon?
Make a note to read about the crossing of the Red Sea (continue reading in Exodus) and of course God saves His people, despite their lack of faith and fear. The problem is the condition of their heart becomes apparent during their wanderings in the wilderness and God is not pleased with most of them. If you continue reading they eventually assume death by starvation in the not too distant future…forgetfulness.
God knows about our forgetfulness. How many people go to church on Sunday, hear their pastor teach on the Word of God and then come Monday are back into their regular routine of doing things, having already forgot about the sermon the day before? How many people plan on yielding their lives to Christ, only to forget shortly thereafter that they had pondered repenting from their deeds? How many times do Believers say in their heart or out loud to others that they are going to start reading the Bible, or stop with the carnality or start having studies with their families in their homes, as they intend to do, but yet they simply forget?
There is some advice from the Holy Scriptures that is very useful for those who know Christ to integrate into their lives:
“And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, with all your soul, exceedingly in every way. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. And it shall be, when Jehovah your God shall have brought you into the land of which He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you great and good cities which you have not built, houses full of all good things, which you have not filled, hewn-out wells which you have not dug, vineyards and olive trees which you have not planted; when you have eaten and are full; then be on guard that you not forget Jehovah who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” Deuteronomy 6:5-12
“With my whole heart have I sought You; O let me not wander from Your Commandments! Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalms 119:10-11
“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the full true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his sins of the past. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make sure of your calling and election, for if you do these things you will not ever stumble; for so an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you. For this reason I will not be negligent to always remind you of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up with reminders, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ made known to me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my departure.” 2nd Peter 1:8-15
Certainly even Paul gave Timothy a reminder (2 Tim. 1:6) and we should all take heed to reminder the things of God. Not only to remember, but to do these things also, for this is the will of God.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets of what sort he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in his deeds.” Jacob (James) 1:21-25
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is for every man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14