We can learn a lot from the 3 stages of the Israelite’s journey, God’s chosen people in the Old Testament. It may reveal God’s will for us who follow Jesus and are in the workplace.
First, they came to Egypt to be saved from famine but eventually became slaves for 300 years. As slaves, they worked in order to eat and they ate so they can work. Their masters didn’t care about their future. But God cared as God cares about our work and our future.
Through Moses, God performed miracles and freed them from bondage and brought them out of Egypt. God wanted to bring them to the promised land, a land so blessed. But before that, they passed through the wilderness, a desert. For 40 years they wandered as God fed them with manna everyday and water from the rock. They didn’t work to eat. God revealed to them that He is their provider. The slave mentality of working to eat will not work in the promised land and so it had to be removed from them. But during this stage of their journey, they kept on grumbling and complaining, disregarding that God was with them in the journey. In the same way, God is revealing to us that He is our provider, although we work to provide for ourselves. God wants to bring us to a place of abundance.
When God was about to bring them to the promised land, they still carried their old mindset. They were fearful and full of unbelief, doubting if the God who brought them out of slavery through signs and wonders could bring them to the promised land. When they saw the giants who were guarding the promised land, they refused to go and cried out blaming God. They wanted to go back to Egypt.
There Is no breakthrough that does not involve obstacles. God brings obstacles so that as we overcome them, our ability will be stretched. If we look at ourselves alone, we see inadequacy. God wants us to look up to him as we pass through those obstacles. This requires faith. Overcoming requires faith. Faith involves a fight, unbelief has to go in repentance.
God waited until the unbelieving generation died so that it will be the next generation who will enter in. To receive the promises of God, our minds have to be transformed from that of being a slave to a child of God.
Before the next generation of Israelite’s entered the promised land, God gave them the following instructions through Moses: Deuteronomy 8:18- But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to create wealth, and so confirms His covenant with your forefathers as it is today. God gave a promise to Abraham, their forefathers, to bless them, make their name great, and make them a blessing to many. The promised land is a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, and the Israelite’s, his descendants. Through Christ Jesus, we too, became recipients of the same promise.
How do these apply to us? We have Christ. We have been redeemed. We may say we have been redeemed, yet think like slaves and not sons. Let us think like His children and not as slaves. Slaves work to survive. God’s people work to proclaim God’s glory. Slaves do not delight in their work. They work for the paycheck and nothing more. God’s children have joy in their work because in their work, they discover the image and likeness of God in them. They keep on improving. God’s people create value as they work, and bless others thru their work. Slaves get paid to eat. Slaves beg. God’s children receive and they receive more as their ability increases.
When the slaves see wealth, they chase wealth and forget God and their ability. The amount of wealth a person has does not equate to being slave or being free. It is his mindset that makes a person a slave or free, poor or rich.
And this is the worse part. When slaves rule, they chase wealth and deprive others of what is rightfully theirs. That is why God cannot allow the Israelite’s to enter the promised land with their slave thinking. Instead of proclaiming God’s glory, they will give Him a bad name.
At some point, we all worked to survive. But that should not prevent us from embracing the truth that God is bringing us to a place of bounty. Let us check ourselves if we still carry with us the slave thinking that we had. God wants us to acknowledge Him as our provider. When we become successful in creating wealth, let us not make idols of them and forget God’s purpose. Let us remember God who gave us the ability to create wealth.
This story tells people that in God, we can find purpose, live with hope and experience success.
May you have a fruitful week ahead.
Ref: Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers. The bible says it all.