“The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death”.

Ex 16:3 NIV

It is not easy, when faced with physical stress and exhaustion, to keep the vision you once set out with. It is easy to promise to make sacrifices before you have to. But the keeping of vows is more costly than making them. And harder.

Setting out to get away from slavery in Egypt was a great experience for the Israelites. Foot-slogging through the desert was tough going. Going short on food was worse. They couldn’t stop thinking about the lovely meals they had been used to. The absence of food and water, and no doubt the heat and the travelling made them doubt the providence of God and forget the calling to which he had bidden them as well as the promise which he had held out to them. Now they doubted God and they blamed Moses and Aaron for the scarcities they were having to suffer. Is an easy life in servitude to a dictator and oppressor better than freedom and suffering? The Israelite people lost the vision they had started out with.

Plenty of Christian believers do the same. So do Christian workers. The price becomes heavy. Doubt makes the sacrifice seem to be not worthwhile. The sense of call grows weak. Other people seem to be getting on well. There are other less costly ways to serve God. Instead, keep the lamp burning, revisit, recall and revalue the original claim of God. And keep going!


Lord, keep alive in me the vision you first imparted.