4 So they said to one another, “Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt.”
The Israelites had made it to the promised land and were spying it out, ready to move forward with God in the lead and suddenly the people stopped. Fear gripped them and they refused to listen to the good reports of the some of the spies. Instead they began to measure their own strength, forgetting about God and determined they could not survive.
Moses was their spiritual leader but they were rejecting him. They wanted a “Captain” and they wanted to “go back to Egypt!”
Think about going back to Egypt and all that meant. They had gone through the plagues, the passover, the Red Sea, the wilderness, the manna….and they would want to undo it all and go back! Had they forgotten the fact that they were slaves and they were making bricks without straw? Life had been miserable back in Egypt and yet, they seemed to forgot all that God had done and continued to do for them! They wanted a captain…for all the wrong reasons.
As a kid I hated playing sports where you had to pick teams. One reason I hated it was because I knew that I would be one of the last to be picked. I wasn’t an athlete; I was more of a nerd. Also, there were times that picking teams felt more like a popularity contest — one which I would never win! Decisions were not always made on the wisest basis.
What is the basis for our personal decisions in life? Moses was the leader and he had been faithful to God and interceded for an unfaithful people. Time after time he had saved them from a destruction of their own making.
Jesus is our leader and over and over again, with great patience and grace he tries to save us from personal destruction. Moses was not the popular leader. He wasn’t cool. He talked funny. He didn’t do things the way that a great “Captain” would and so they rejected him.
Jesus wasn’t the popular leader. He wasn’t cool. He said things that made people feel really uncomfortable. He wasn’t the military “Captain” that people wanted him to be so they rejected him.
My pastor isn’t cool. Sometimes his/her sermons aren’t as entertaining as what I can find on YouTube. My pastor needs to learn how to function like a CEO. If only he/she would have spent more time in the business world and followed their models we’d know how to do better marketing and sales!
Let’s be like the world and have an awesome looking Captain. Let’s go back to Egypt…where we will live like slaves and die.
Lord, thank you for genuine spiritual leadership which I have been blessed to experience in my life. Amen.