If you think about it, there really is no such thing as the good old days. Have you ever gotten to the point where life was so bad that you started to lose hope that it would ever get better in the future? Ever been to the place where all you can think about is “the good ol’ days”?
I was reading a story today about how God’s people couldn’t stop thinking about the good old days. Numbers Chapter 11 describes a time when the Jews were looking back to the good old days in Egypt. I believe this is the story that the author of Hebrews Chapter 3 is thinking about when he talks about the consequences of rebelling against God.
Here’s what Numbers 11:1 says- “Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.”
It’s Not How You Remember It
What was so bad that it caused God to literally burn with anger because of their sin? It was the sin of unbelief. Look at what verses 5 & 6 from Numbers Chapter 11 says about “the good ol’ days”. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
Basically they were saying that we remember the food- we remember the fish- we have many fond memories from Egypt but they forgot an important memory; they forgot that they were slaves being brutally mistreated by their Egyptian taskmasters. What I find most offensive about Numbers Chapter 11, is the people grew tired of God’s gift of manna. They could only remember the fruit that they ate and the fish that they caught along the Nile River when they were in Egypt. They didn’t remember when God miraculously drove them out from Egypt. They didn’t remember the plagues that God sent on the Egyptians to purchase his people back from slavery. They didn’t remember the Passover that God instituted in order to rescue his people from the death Angel. They didn’t remember God miraculously leading them through the desert and providing for their needs every day.
Hard Times Come . . .
Basically, the people of Israel forgot how good God was and they forgot about how evil Egypt was. We all have a tendency to do the same thing when life gets hard. Don’t be the person who forgets the good things that God has done for you because you’re overwhelmed by hard times right now. Don’t be so overwhelmed while you’re in the midst of the desert that you can’t see the Promised Land on the horizon. Don’t stare back at the good old days… because those days were never really that good anyway!