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Summary: Illusions are tricky. Sometimes illusions are an erroneous. Illusions are powerful. Even in our Christian lives. Illusions imprison us at different times. They imprison us in such a way that they are so powerful when those provisions that we’re hanging o

Imprisoned By Illusions

Exodus 16:1-5

Illusions are tricky. Sometimes illusions are an erroneous. In the reading this week the children of Israel are crossing the Red Sea and entering into the wilderness and headed toward Sinai. Millions are following Moses toward a promise that was made to Abraham hundreds of years before. They are leaving slavery behind. Yet there are challenges that lay ahead for the Israelites. The barriers are no longer Pharaohs chariots, but their unbelief.

Illusions are powerful. Even in our Christian lives. Illusions imprison us at different times. They imprison us in such a way that they are so powerful when those provisions that we’re hanging on to begin to fail. That’s where children of Israel where. They had been in slavery and now set free by the hand of God. It’s amazing that in just a few chapters before their backs are to the Red Sea and they see the Egyptians coming for them and they’re so terrified “how are we going to get out of this?” But then God provides a way out by parting the sea and allowing the people to cross over on dry land. And then they went to the other side and God allows the winds to stop and the sea crashes in on Pharaoh’s army. They’re watching this. As a matter of fact, Moses begins to sing. Miriam begins to sing. There’s jubilation because of what God done. But illusions become so powerful when they begin to lack provisions. It’s almost like a test.

Israel begins to grumble against Moses and against Aaron. They began to see themselves hungry so they started to complain because there is no food. And they began to look back. They focused on Egypt and said “when we where there, we where sitting around a fire and we where eating food and our bellies where full.” “ Don’t you remember where you where? Remember the slavery you where in? Have you forgotten all those terrible things that where going on in your lives?”

But you see that’s what happens when we are disillusioned in thinking that maybe we should have been somewhere else in the past. Living in the past. That’s where we get the phrase “I wish we could go back to the good old days” Yeah! Let’s go back to the good old days. Lets take all the plumbing out of the house and let’s put another little house out back with a trail. Then when we get this urge at night, we can get up with the thermometer at 27 degrees and make our way to the outhouse. Or if we don’t want to do that we can put this pan under our bed. Kids you think you have it bad by being responsible for taking out the garbage, well when I was with my grandparents before there was indoor plumbing, there was this little pan that goes under the bed. They called it a bedpan. So when you got the urge and Mother Nature called, they pull out this little pan and do whatever and then slide the pan back under the bed. Guess whose job it was to take out the pan every morning? ME! I’ll take out the garbage any day! Yeah, let’s get back to the good old days! I just don’t know about that. Sometimes the world overwhelms us with all of the technology. Everybody says, “Let’s get back to the good old days”.

That’s where the children of Israel were. The good old days really weren’t that good but they thought they were. Their bellies were full and they thought that everything was ok. But it wasn’t. Jesus comes into our lives and washed our sins away. We’ve been liberated from the spiritual bondage that we were in. But sometimes in our Christian lives we think, “I just can’t take this Christian life. I just can’t walk this Christian walk. So I’m going to go back and just do the things I was doing with my pals or my girlfriend/boyfriend. And I’ll just be better off.” What are you thinking?! Remember where you were, because you put on Christ because you wanted to get away from those kinds of things in your life, the miserable, lonely, hurting life. But sometimes, illusions are so powerful when there is something lacking in our life. In 1 Corinthians 10, the apostle Paul uses the twin of this event. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the facts, brothers, that our forefathers were all under that cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses, in the cloud, and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink: for they drank from the same spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” God had blessed them in delivering them from the Egyptians. But in verse 5 “Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them: their bodies were scattered over the desert.” Paul goes on to use them as an illustration or as an example. Look at who they were. God had brought them so powerfully out of slavery and put them in route to the promise that He had made Abraham. But somehow or another, just because they had gotten hungry, they wanted to go back to where they were. God had so much more planned for them.

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