Summary: You may not know exactly where God is leading, but if you are sure that God is leading, then go on and walk in the dark.
I remember when I was a child sleeping in my warm bed on a cold night. There is something about the warmth of a bed when it is cold outside. But, sometimes early in the morning I would awaken out of a pleasant sleep and find that I needed to go to the bathroom. I would lay there until the discomfort of staying there in the bed overcame the comfort of laying in the bed. Then I would look out from my covers to see the path I will take on my way to the bathroom. In between my bed and the goal, I would see a monster sitting in one of the chairs right next to my bed. This monster looked like that Monster in Daniel 7 because it came up on one side. And on top of it all that beast was looking at me. I thought to myself, I can probably out run this beast, it doesn’t look that coordinated anyway. But that beast would seemingly read my mind and point to the closet where there appeared to be 5 tall Giants standing and 3 of them didn’t have heads. Immediately I would take the cover and put it back over my head. Back to the comfort. Back to the discomfort.
But eventually Mother Nature called so hard that I could no longer safely ignore her. At that point I would jump out of bed and begin my trek to the bathroom. That monster in the chair grabbed at me but I straight-armed that monster just like I saw Walter Payton do on his way to the end zone. Once I got past the monster I realized that I was here in the dark. Monsters all around me. I can’t see where I am going. I need to get somewhere, but I don’t know how I am going to get there. I can’t go back to the bed any longer without getting past the monsters that stood between me and the bed. I can’t seem to get to the bathroom because monsters block the way. Here I am in the dark without knowing where or how to go.
Israel found itself in the same place. The Bible records the children of Israel as being in Egyptian slavery. During that time, Israel learned how to live like slaves. They learned how to eat like slaves. They learned how to drink like slaves. It was uncomfortable being a slave. But at the same time it was comfortable being a slave. It was a comfortable discomfort. They learned when to wake up and when to go to bed. They were slaves. In fact they even learned how to worship like slaves. It was a terrible time. However, they were comfortable. We know they were comfortable because they talked longingly about the past in Egypt as soon as they got out of Egypt. Folks can get used to anything. Israel got used to being slaves. They knew how much straw they were going to get and how many bricks they had to make. They knew when they had to be at the job site and when they got to go home. They knew what they were gonna eat. Yeah Someone oppressed them. Yeah it was uncomfortable. But just like a warm bed on a cold morning it was comfortable. They didn’t want to be slaves, but slavery did have its advantages. In addition, who knows what will happen if we ever got out of Egypt. In Egypt they know what is going on. Yeah they were uncomfortable, but they were comfortable in their discomfort.
Well in the fullness of time, God took Israel out of Egypt, God sent a cloud that turned into a ball of fire at night to lead Israel. That cloud protected and led Israel. Israel still remembered Egypt. Israel began murmuring about how good it was back in Egypt. How comfortable they were back in Egypt. Yeah it rains bread from heaven, but that gets old after a while. And why do we have to beg Moses to hit a rock everytime we want some water. Here we are out of Egypt out of the comfortable discomfort, and now we are in nothing but discomfort. We ate better back in Egypt. Not only that we had something better to drink than just water. Bread and water. And on top of it all we are marching in a desert. We don’t know where in the world we are going. Somebody said something about a promised land, but all I see is desert. Somebody said something about a promised land but Now I am looking at a smoking mountain. And that dark cloud at the top fo the mountain is dark which completely illustrates how dark our future looks. It was better in the discomfort of Egypt because now all I see is darkness in front of us. The future is dark and the past is bright. Why did you take us out here to die God (and Moses)?