“Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt” (Acts 7:39).
In recounting the events of Israel’s idol worship at Sinai, Luke offers a telling insight into what was holding them back. Instead of faith driving them forward to an unknown land of promise, they were stymied by the memory of a known past–Egypt. Even though Egypt represented slavery, the familiarity that it offered was preferred over the uncertainty of a mysterious future. Like us, Israel discovered that it’s easier to talk about faith than it is to actually go forward in faith. A faith that is preoccupied with the past can easily become a religion of idol worship.