I loved being in the Brownies and Guides. And I loved church parades. Strutting along the streets, doing my best to keep the right foot forward at the right time. There would always be the little kids joining alongside of us for the length of their street, and then dropping off. All part of the fun! Do they still do that, or are kids too sophisticated these days?
Well the Israelites finally made it out of Egypt. I imagine it made quite a procession, with 600,000 men plus women and children (Exodus 12:37-39). They had their taggers-along too. Who were these people who joined the Exodus out of Egypt? Perhaps they were other slaves, who saw their opportunity to escape. Perhaps they were Egyptians who were sick of the tyranny of Pharaoh and wanted to leave their ravaged homeland. Maybe they were poorer folk who were fearful of being conscripted into filling the employment void the Israelites were leaving behind them. Some of them may have been so impressed with the power God had demonstrated in the plagues upon Egypt that they wanted to be with the people who served him.
The one thing they had in common, was that they were choosing freedom. They were moving out from the safe, known status quo, along with God’s people into a very uncertain future. However, we read later, in Numbers 11:4 that this ‘rabble’ got dissatisfied, and probably hadn’t got the staying power of faith to go right through to the promised land. They had not bought into the whole vision, and when the going got tough, they couldn’t hack it.
Recognising God’s power is a great start. Entering into a faith journey is excellent. Getting in with God’s people, going where God is going, that is essential. But these people never really entered into the full relationship and promise because they didn’t wholeheartedly embrace it. Moses explained it in Deuteronomy 6:3-19. If they wanted the full blessings, they had to love God with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength.
And if we want to see all God’s blessings, to enter our ‘promised land’ then we need to press into him with every fibre of our beings. Love him with ALL our hearts, minds, souls and strength. Tagging along is not enough.