Choosing To Go Back Into Bondage

So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” Num. 14:4 (NKJV)

So here’s the setting, the Israelites had been freed from the bondage of slavery and they were on the cusp of entering the Promised Land of God. God had just given the command to send out 12 men to spy out the land and prepare to take it. Two of the twelve — Caleb and Joshua — came back with favorable reports, but the other 10 men lacked faith, and they came back with doubt, fear, and pessimism. 

Upon hearing the prognosis of their future, the people chose to side with the ten men who lacked faith, and their lives would suffer dearly because of this. All of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” (Num. 14:2-4)

This decision to return home to Egypt is interesting to me for two reasons. First of all, Egypt wasn’t their home. Secondly, these people were slaves in Egypt and they were greatly mistreated. They were free now—to go back to Egypt was a decision to go back to bondage.

So why would they want to return to bondage again? Probably for the same reason anyone returns to bondage — believing what they have or can have is somehow better than what God has planned for them.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Prov. 14:12 (NKJV)

I have seen many Christians make a profession of faith in Christ, become freed from the bondage of sin, only to complain about how hard it is to follow Jesus and to walk in faith. I have watched, as they turn back to their old lifestyles of sinful living, believing it holds something to offer. Timothy speaks about this person.

But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Tim. 2:22 (NKJV)

I think we would be wise to be mindful of the mistakes others have made as recorded in Scripture, because we can be prone in the flesh to make the same mistakes. We must guard ourselves from the temptations to be led back to embracing the sinful desires of this world, or anything else we can find ourselves putting before God. There is no lifestyle or sinful act worth going back into bondage over. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Numbers 14:4, what sinful act did the Israelites suggest?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you identify any areas within your life where the enemy is tempting you to return to the very bondage you were freed from?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: When facing temptations to go back to the vomit, choose to keep your mind fixed upon God and seek His guidance. Continue to walk in faith despite the obstacles. 

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me, especially when I am faced with temptations to go back to the sinful ways. Help me to remember this story when I face future challenges Lord. I pray for Your guidance and leading today Father, and I ask for a fresh filling of Your Holy Spirit to empower me to achieve what You have planned for me. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott



Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000