In my opinion, God could have taken the children of Israel to another land and multiplied them, but He chose Egypt. Why? Because Abraham had taken their gold and silver during his sojourn there. And for that God said:
“Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.” – Genesis 15:13
What does that say to us? ‘There is no free lunch in free town.’
Fast forward after the Abraham-Egypt scenario, Lot continued to follow his senses. One day, Lot and Abram would part ways and Lot chose a land that looked like the garden of the Lord. He did not know that it was the land of wicked men. Genesis 13:13. Why was Lot’s soul vexed on a daily basis in Sodom? Simple. He was living in the wrong place [nonetheless] it was his choice! Even though his soul was aggravated daily because of the lifestyle of the people around him, he still did not relocate. He had gotten so accustomed to the place that when God eventually showed up to destroy Sodom, it was very difficult for Lot to leave. In the end, he lost everything!
“If you linger, you will litter!”
Let me tell you something about Egypt and Sodom, they are two sides of the same coin. Egypt represents the world’s system; a land of bondage, affliction and cruelty. A land where ungodly principles govern material acquisition to the detriment of the welfare of the less privileged. In such a land, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
“Where are you dwelling? Are you in the land of scarcity and the house of bondage?”
What can we say about Sodom? The sin of Sodom is much more than homosexuality. A parallel can be drawn with Nigeria; a land richly blessed by God, yet has become a joke, a byword, and a land of oppression. A land where the leaders through questionable means possess stupendous wealth in the midst of the quicksand of abjectly poor citizens. Again, is it possible for you to be in church and still be living in Sodom? Yes!
Sinai, Pay-check to Pay-check
The second land the Israelites lived in was the wilderness of Sinai. They were brought out of Egypt by God’s grace, and when they crossed the Red Sea on dry land (representing their baptism), they became the children of God. They translated from a band of slaves to sons of God.
Note here that the wilderness is not a place of lack and scarcity rather it is a place of spiritual infancy and immaturity; it is a place where everything is ready-made for you, and a place where we fail to understand the process. In the wilderness, God supernaturally provided for the children of Israel and gave them enough to carry them through each day, but they could not save anything. It was not a place of scarcity, it was a place of “just enough,” a place of living from pay-check to pay-check.
Are you happy where you are working, or you are just dressing up and going everyday because you have to pay bills? And for that reason, you are compelled to make bricks without straw!
There’s more. Remember, the wilderness is typically a place of complaining and murmuring, which are accompanied by all kinds of unpleasant consequences.
“Are you happy where you are working, or you are just dressing up and going everyday because you have to pay bills?”
In those forty years, it was never God’s intention to waste Israel in the wilderness. Rather, it was the bitter consequences of their choices, and that of their leaders who were sent as spies into Jericho that brought the calamity of meandering in the wilderness. In the same vein, God did not save us so that we would go through the routine of church; baptism, church training and the monotony of church services, no!
The Land of Abundance
God wants to show you off to the world as His tabernacle and workmanship. He didn’t just save you to provide for your daily needs by performing one miracle after the other. Waiting for miracles every day and in every situation is a characteristic of living in the wilderness.
“A life of total dependence upon God, and doing nothing more than expecting a miracle is spiritual immaturity; it is called ‘living in the wilderness.’”
It is God’s desire that we grow by learning His word, listening to the voice of His Spirit and doing His will. We should be weary of having God do everything for us. It is time we began working with Him as co-labourers, and conquer by His supernatural power, so that men can see and testify that truly, God is indeed working with His people.
And here is a challenge for everyone of us: ‘We must grow from having just enough money for every day to having more than enough to meet the needs of other people.’
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we stop depending on God completely, however, we must stop depending on Him to send manna, quails and water. Instead, let us become co-labourers with Him in making it happen! That way we spread joy wherever we go.
This is what happens to those who enter into the ‘land of abundance.’ They are able to help others and show them the way. This should be your daily aspiration and your drive, to develop skills and abilities to transform raw materials into finished products, and then men would make a beaten path to your door step.
“It is time we began working with Him as co-labourers and conquer by His supernatural power!”