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Do You Have A Slave Mentality?

How much do you complain? How much do you complain about your life? We all do it, but did you know God hates complaining? Did you know He takes it very personally? This is a slave mentality. Let me explain and start from the beginning...

The Book of Exodus is all about the Jews leaving Egypt where they'd been enslaved for 430 years. Then God sends in Moses to lead them out of Egypt because...

"The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them." Exodus 2:23-25

Over 1 million Jews left Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron and under the protection of God. There were even Egyptians who went with them after they witnessed this foreign God showing up so powerfully for His people. We automatically think they were ecstatic about being set free and celebrated as they left. These people witnessed some of the greatest miracles that are still talked about thousands of years later. They also had the God if the universe leading them in the form of a fiery cloud as they left slavery.

Slavery was all they'd known. They knew no other way of life. As much as they wanted to be free they didn't have a clue about living free. They talked about, dreamed of it, imagined what it must be like, but the only thing they knew about freedom was what they saw around them among the Egyptians or others who came to Egypt. They wanted it, they just didn't really know what it was. Even Aaron was clueless.

For someone like Moses who grew up in Pharaoh's house, privileged, free to do anything he wanted, to come and go, to not have to put in back breaking labor, he understood what freedom was. He understood that freedom was not just living without an overseer, living without starving, being beaten, having children taken from you to work in someone else's fields, being murdered by a harsh overseer and living under the worst kinds of conditions. They were now free to make life for themselves and to prosper, but it doesn't come without work in itself.

So they leave and they get to the Red Sea. God was still leading the group and He led them right to the Red Sea. There's no where for them to go. I'm sure some if not most were wondering why they were at the edge of the sea. They settled down for a while to rest, eat and to feed and water all the livestock with them.

Exodus 14...

Some Jews looked up and spotted Pharaoh and his army marching toward them. They freaked. God led them to the sea and now the Egyptian army was coming straight for them. There was no where to run and with the amount of people and livestock, they'd never get away even if they tried. They're now screaming in absolute horror. Some turned on Moses...

“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”Exodus 14:11-12

They saw God act powerfully on their behalf in Egypt. They could look up and see the cloud still hovering there, still leading them. They knew the miracles God performed through Moses and Aaron, but they still went into meltdown. Does that make them stupid? No...just human. Remember slavery was all they'd known.

Moses assures them by yelling  “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”Exodus 14:13-14

Nice speech. Moses knew God didn't go through all the trouble to bring them out only to let them die, but Moses even lost faith for a moment. What he knew and what he could see around him was clashing

"Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move forward." Exodus 14:15

Over 1 million people were panicking and no amount of assurance was going to calm them. It was mayhem. They were stuck between a rock and hard place and Moses was wasting his breath. Basically God told him to zip it. The only thing Moses needed to be doing was getting the people to move. Move where? To the sea!

Suddenly the cloud moved from in front of the group to behind coming between the army and the Jews. The cloud threw darkness over the army so they couldn't see what was happening and there was light on the other side for the Jews as they advanced. The sea split and the Jews started through. It was no minute walk. They had to cross the sea so it took a long time. Eventually they reached the other side and verse 31 says the Jews feared God after seeing what He did to the sea and how he took out the Egyptian army. They feared Him and they trusted Him...for a little while.

Jump ahead 3 days after this awesome miracle. Now they're in the desert. It's hot, dry, and the water where they were couldn't be drunk. The people start complaining about Moses Exodus 15:24. By another miracle, God makes the bitter water drinkable for them. They all saw it, experienced it, drank it and lived.

Now they've been led by God to the Desert of Sin between Elim and Sinai. They've run out of food and water. People are exhausted, hungry and thirsty. Did they look back at everything that had happened over the last 2 1/2 months and say "God will provide"? No, they started complaining again...

“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.”Exodus 16:3

Still patient, God acknowledges their need, but points out their grumbling against Him (Ex 16:7) Instead of trusting Him and seeking His provision they whine. But look at what was said. "There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted"

Jump ahead a little more. They leave the Desert of Sin and end up in Rephidim and there was no water there. It's easy for us to look at everything and judge the Jews for complaining once again but we do the same thing.

Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?" Exodus 17:3

This happens several times more later on. "Why did you bring us out of Egypt? We may have been slaves, but at least we had constant food and water supply!" Despite everything, they still kept returning to the slave mentality. Eventually God got sick of it (among other things) and didn't allow the generation who came out of Egypt to enter the Promised Land including Moses. Instead He lead the entire group around in a giant circle in the desert until all the people from that generation was dead. It was the next generation He allowed to go in.

We know everything written is an example to us and a picture of things to come. Having been set free, how often do we complain and look back at the old life with regret? I look back sometimes. Things were extremely difficult living with my father, but living on my own isn't easy either. At first I was thrilled to be out from under him and now able to live my life without being treated so bad but then reality set in. It may have been rough there but I had very little to worry about as far as money and necessities went. I always had gas money. I always had my pick of whatever food or drink I wanted. The bills were always paid. If I needed something I got it. His company may have become a war zone, but it was comforting to not be alone at night knowing he was just in the next room. I had some protection. A lot of people will stay in awful conditions simply because they're afraid to live any other way.

God didn't forget the Jews had to eat and drink. He didn't take a wrong turn when He led them to the Red Sea. The Egyptian army wasn't a surprise to Him. He was testing them. Would they trust Him and depend on Him for everything or would their faith take a nose dive? He didn't expect them to be pinnacles of faith when they first got their freedom. He knew freedom was going to be shocking and terrifying for them at times. They knew nothing other than being treated like dirt and slavery. They didn't know how to act once they were out and we do the same thing.

We don't know how to act when He brings us from a way of life into something so much better. People can adapt to almost any situation. When all you know is garbage..."better" is a shock to the system. The old life may have been bad, but we knew that life. We were familiar with it. It was predictable. We knew what to expect. We learned how to survive in it. When we leave that lifestyle everything is turned upside down. Everything is uncertain. Change is scary. Nothing's familiar and predictable and we tend to freak out and even sometimes go back to a bad lifestyle simply because we know it.

He's patient, He's merciful and compassionate but eventually he expects better from us. When we complain about our lives it's actually complaining that God doesn't know what He's doing. What He's doing for us and for our benefit isn't good enough and we're ungrateful. God isn't indifferent or let's things run without Him only showing up if he absolutely has to. He micro manages every thing and every area from the smallest aspects of our lives to the largest. Complaining about anything does nothing but make God angry.

Eventually He'll test us. Eventually things may go down hill in the worst way. Are we gonna complain about and look back at the old life or are we gonna trust Him? Things will change if we just wait and trust.


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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