There is an animal tale that tells a story about a pig. The duck and cow felt saddened with the pig’s living conditions. They decided to do what they could to make his home comfortable. After some discussion, they devised a plan. They noticed that he didn’t have a parlor so they repurposed some apple crates and made a parlor. They used straw to create a resting place for him and used leaves to make a pillow. Then they decorated with flowers.
They looked around and were very happy with their work. The other animals looked around and were amazed with the transformation. Then, they began to murmur! What made the pig so special that he deserved such amazing living conditions? They were unable to settle the dispute so they went to the farmer for help. He sent them away and they were on their own.
When they returned to the house they were amazed! They couldn’t believe their eyes. The house looked nothing like it did before. The pig trampled on the straw; scattered the leaves and ate the flowers. He transformed the parlor into a pig’s sty. The animals decided that they didn’t want to live like a pig anymore. They realized that you can take the pig out of the mud but you can’t take the mud out of the pig.
This story reminded me of Israel in Egypt. The children of Israel found themselves enslaved in Egypt. The Pharaoh in Egypt made their lives unbearable. So they cried out to God in their despair and God called Moses from taking care of the sheep. It was his responsibility to go to Pharaoh and say, “This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.” Exodus 8:1. Pharaoh was not about to let his unpaid workforce walk out the door. But God is not limited by the desires of man so He sent plagues in the land so Pharaoh will know that He is God.
Eventually, Pharaoh consented to let them leave. But as they left he had a change of heart. He sent his troops after them. When they saw the Egyptian army behind them, fear gripped their hearts and they cried unto Moses in Exodus 14:11-12 and said, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
Moses didn’t allow their complaining to distract him. Instead, he told them, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” What they saw as a problem, was another opportunity for God to show Himself strong. Moses stretched forth his rod and the Red Sea parted and they crossed over on dry land. That was not all, when the Egyptian tried to pursue them, they perished in the Red Sea.
This is an opportunity to praise God. They were free and Pharaoh couldn’t reach them; they were truly free! They were in control of their lives and destiny and God continued to provide for them. He provided bread from heaven and they collected their portions daily. But they soon got tired of the manna and they began to complain in Numbers 11:4-6 “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”.
Are these the same people who cried out for God to rescue them from the perils of Egypt? When people begin to complain, they forget about the goodness of God. They fail to remember how He delivered them from the “Egypt” situations in their lives. These people forgot about the goodness of God and their selective memory recalled the garlic and the onions; yet they forgot how they had to collect straw to make bricks for Pharaoh without compensation. When you begin to murmur, you minimize the blessings of God in your life. Don’t live your life looking in the rearview mirror; look ahead and value what God has done for you.