Summary: Hebrews wanted to go back to Egypt to their OLD normal when they were in the wilderness. In our case, following Corona Virus, will we go back to OLD ways or find a NEW NORMAL?
1. We hear a lot about the “New Normal”
a. We experienced it after 911 – Homeland Security with inspection lines in security
b. Right now we are headed into an unknown future – 6’; face masks; rubber gloves (maybe return to ladies’ gloves of the 50’s); change in blowing out birthday candles – FOREVER?
2. Will we go back to the “way we were” or into a new something?
a. Lives of individuals and families
b. Life of the church
c. When the dust settles what will we look like?
3. God rescued the Hebrews from Egypt
a. Plagues/Red Sea
b. Provided for the needs of the Hebrews – physical/spiritual
c. Brought them to the Promised Land – 12 spies
d. Response of the people after the 10 spies’ report – Numbers 14:1-4
Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
4. In some ways our time of “shelter in place” has been a wilderness experience and still is
a. Remember, “Egypt” comes from the word for “Restraint” in Hebrew – Will we go back to the Egypt of the “tyranny of the urgent” – run ragged with overly full schedules – sports; obligations; activities OR
b. Does God have something for us? His leadership; rest and reflection
I. In the Wilderness, It is Tempting to Exchange Liberty for Security
A. Freedom Requires Payment
1. “Freedom isn’t free” – [US Armed Forces
2. For Israel – Passover lambs; witnessing the plagues; Red Sea
3. For Christians:
a. Jesus’ Crucifixion – John 3:16, et al
b. Death of Self – Matthew 16:24-26
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
B. Freedom Requires Effort
1. Following the LORD in the wilderness was not “easy” – Commemorated in Feast of Tabernacles
2. Following Jesus is not Easy
a. Embracing Scriptures – John 8:31-32
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
b. Sacrificing Self – Romans 12:1
C. Freedom Requires Risk
1. Freedom can be messy – bad choices; enemies like Amalek and Edom
Proverbs 4:23 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
1 Peter 5:8 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
II. In the Wilderness, It is Tempting to Ignore God’s Instructions and Go Our Own Way
A. Abram and His TWO Calls
1. BEFORE Haran – Acts 7:2-4
2. IN Haran – Genesis 11:32-12.4
B. Hebrews and Meat – Numbers 11:4-6
1. Wanted more than Manna –
2. God Provided More – Numbers 11:19-20 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”’”
Numbers 11:21-23 21 But Moses said, “The people among whom I am number six hundred thousand on foot, and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month!’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, and be enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, and be enough for them?” 23 And the LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD's hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
3. Sometimes God disciplines us by giving us what we think we want
1. As we come out of the National Lockdown, what will become of us? What will we look like? “Business as usual” or have we learned something?