And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:4 NIV
A dog was lost recently on a transport to its new home. The dog was terrified and escaped not knowing that only good awaited him at his destination. Now alone, scared and hungry, caring volunteers with heavy hearts are searching to try to find him before he comes to harm.
The Israelites left a hard life of bondage and slavery behind when they headed to the Promised Land. They did not know what the journey would hold and were unsure of the unknown future. They continuously looked back to their life in Egypt thinking the familiar was more comforting than what awaited if they followed Moses. Exodus 16:3 records, ‘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.”‘
Just like a terrified dog and the Israelites, we often want to turn back before our journey is complete. The road ahead is unknown. We long to escape to the safety of what is familiar. The future is promising but it is much too hard to keep on keeping on in unknown territory. Walking by sight appears to be easier than walking by faith.
Christians are told that the opposite is true. II Corinthians 5:7 states, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Philippians 3:13 tells us, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Jesus himself said in Luke 9:62, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” There are song lyrics that encourage us saying, “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.”
When we are faced with the road less travelled, remember that Jesus is our guide. He is our good shepherd, we shall not want (Psalm 23). Without faith, it is impossible to please him (Hebrews 11:6) so we walk by faith. Behind us is unbelief, fear and bondage but before us awaits faith, hope and freedom with Jesus as our leader. Decide today to follow Him. Turning back is not an option.