"Out of Egypt I called my son."
We read in the Torah that before entering the Promised Land, Moses warns for eventual kings of Israel not to, cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, 'You shall never return that way again' (Deuteronomy 117:16).
Abraham settled in Egypt because of financial distress (Genesis 12:10). His grandson Jacob also brought the whole nation of Israel birthed from his loins to Egypt because of famine (Genesis 47). Up to the times of the Roman Empire Egypt was the place of wealth and plenty, of comfort and ease. It was also the center of idolatry with a culture and lifestyle in opposition to God’s ways.
The Almighty had reversed the trend started by the patriarchs. He was finally going to give His first-born Israel a country of his own so the people could settle and live in Hashem’s ways. Hashem warns them: “do not let trade and comfort tempt your future king to make you return to Egypt”. If we remember, this was the constant temptation in the desert. As soon as something went wrong they cried, “Oh my, why have we left the comfort of Egypt?” Trade and comfort is also what made Lot, Abraham’s nephew leave his uncle’s side for the wicked city of Sodom.
This warning seems to echo through time on deaf ears when nearly a thousand years later we read that in spite all of Jeremiah’s pleading and reminding, the remnant from the Babylonian exile seeks refuge in the arms of Pharaoh (Jeremiah 42).
As believers and followers of our Master Yeshua, we are destined to problems, trials, tests, even to suffering. This is an age of uncertainty and like the Children of Israel we have left it to go after the visions of the bright future outlined in God’s promises. Like Noah we are building for the future while everyone enjoys life as if everything was going to last forever (Matthew 24:38). Many have travelled that way before us, by faith, seeing Him who is invisible, having never received the promises, and like for them, God has provided something better for us (Hebrews 11:27; 39-40) . It is easy to become wary of the way and to desire the lives of others who have settled down for the devil’s arrangements on the planet (Luke 4:6).
As we hear the sounds of war, of bankruptcy, and of the general evil around us, let us rebuke that temptation and keep our eyes towards the promises of the ‘World to Come’. When we finally enter the last phase of this Messianic age, when Messiah rules on earth and justice covers the land like water covers the sea. We will then look back and wonder, ‘what did ‘Egypt’ have to offer me anyways!”
May it come soon Abba, even in our days!