I love to travel. I bet all obsessive and excited before every vacation trip, conference trip, or mission trip. I buy the maps and the travel books. I plan the days in too much detail (making my family completely crazy!)
My kids even call me Clark Griswold (If you don’t know who that is, forgive me. If you do know who that is, forgive me).
So, it’s my joy to invite you to take a look with me at the biggest family trip of all: the journey of nearly two million of God’s people from Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan.
You may know the story. It begins in the book of Exodus when God, through Moses, challenges Pharaoh to release the people of God from their slavery, so that they can begin their journey to Canaan. Pharaoh was a hard-hearted world ruler, and he was accustomed to getting his way, but he found himself opposing God’s will for the trip God wanted His people to take. So God sent Pharaoh a series of very nasty plagues to convince him that he ought to let Moses and the people go. Throughout the process, Pharaoh offered Moses some of the same compromises the Enemy offers our families today for life’s journey toward committed faithfulness.
Compromise #1 – Don’t Go. Just be sort of religious.
Then Pharaoh said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.” – Exodus 8:25
In other words, tack some religious stuff onto your busy life, but don’t make a commitment that takes you out of Egypt. Do what you want, but stay “here in the land.” Don’t take the journey. God’s people didn’t fall for that one, and neither should we!
Compromise #2 – Go, but don’t go far. Just make a field trip, not a life journey
Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert, but you must not go very far.” – Exodus 8:28
Go and do your God thing, but don’t do anything radical or permanent. Don’t step completely away from the world and its passions, purposes and priorities. Hang around the things of God for a while, if you must, but don’t go far from world and its ways. Of course, Moses and the people of God didn’t accept that one either.
Compromise #3 – Go, but don’t take your family.[Pharaoh said,] “No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord.” – Exodus 10:11
After all, we don’t want to “force” Jesus on our kids (as if we could!). But I ask, “Why not?” We force vegetables, bedtimes, curfews, boundaries, and a boatload of lesser things, don’t we? Why in the world would we not do everything in our power (and, parents, our power is considerable!) to bring our families with us on the journey. Thankfully, God let Pharaoh know right quick – He used locusts – that the whole families of God’s people were going on the journey.
Compromise #4 – Go, with your family, but don’t take your stuff.[Pharaoh said,] “Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”
– Exodus 10:24
In other words, make a full commitment, except for your material wealth. Get as spiritual as you want to get, but leave your money and things out of the equation. But what kind of journey
Here’s what Moses and the people of God learned, and what the Word of God wants to teach us about life’s journey to faithfulness: We are going. We are going all the way. We are taking our families. We are taking everything we are and everything we own!
May He bless our “Family Vacation!”
McGregor Baptist Church
3750 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33966