“And the children of Israel said to them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for you have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
~ Exodous 16:3
As there always seems to be, there is a Biblical precedent for what people face in contemporary times, that, rather than revealing a “higher truth”, actually reveals THE truth (over the span of my life, I have come to reject the progressive concept that there is a “higher truth” because simple truth is the most powerful force on this planet).
After Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they didn’t immediately go to the land of milk and honey promised them by God – far from it. The plight of the Israelites was to wander in the wilderness for 40 years due to their disobedience and unbelief after God ended their captivity in Egypt. They were to take possession of the land God had promised their forefathers, a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). Yet after reaching the borders of the Promised Land they became convinced they could not oust the current inhabitants of the land, even though God told them they could. Their lack of belief in God’s word and promises brought forth the wrath of God.
The Israelites completely gave up on God, building and worshiping idols representing false gods even though it was not God who failed them, it was they who failed themselves. For this blasphemy, God cursed them with forty years of wilderness wandering until the unbelieving generation died off, and like Moses himself, that generation never set foot in the Promised Land.
I believe in the existence of God – but even if you don’t and see the Bible as retelling of fables, it is difficult not to see the parallels between the human condition in Biblical times and today. Because I see things in a certain context based on my faith, I believe the Hand of God was moving in that unique group of men who conceived, bled and died to create the promise of an America. They enshrined that promise in two seminal documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. To me, these documents are the description of a modern era promised land, a land of milk and honey for those who believed and are willing to face the challenges and hardships of freedom – but also willing to accept the blessings that come from it.
As Exodous 16:3 reveals, when the going got tough, the tough wanted to get going – back to the captivity and slavery of Egypt. They preferred hardships and hopelessness of slavery over liberation because slavery offered three hots and a cot and freedom to make their way was just too darn hard. Collectively, they were like a prisoner who has been in a cell for most of his life and when released, commits a crime so he can go back to the thing he knows best, a place devoid of freedom but provides him safety, security and sustenance. There is actually a word for this, it is called eleutherophobia, a fear of freedom. Symptoms include suspicion of others, a sense of servitude, nausea at the thought of freedom, social anxiety, tremors, difficulty of breathing and weeping.
There can be no doubt that America has significantly (and perhaps irreparably) deviated from our founding ideals, commonly known as First Principles. As a result, like the Israelites, we seem condemned to wander the wilderness, constantly suffering starvation of spirit, emptiness and hunger of the soul and in constant fear of attack by any number of a variety of beasties. The elections of 2008, 2012 and the campaign so far to date seem to indicate there is a majority of this county who will vote to go back to the fleshpots of Egypt even though it means a life of slavery and servitude. They want either an overweening, controlling government or a strongman devoid of principle who simply promises to smite our enemies no matter what the Constitution says.
If you see the parallel I am describing, you will know that the Israelites were only allowed to enter the Promised Land AFTER they destroyed their graven idols and turned their faces back to God. It is my belief that America will only return to its rightful position as a promised land when we burn the idols of diversity, collectivism and “social justice”, oust the Pharisees from our government and turn our faces to the Constitution. Only then will we begin to cure our eleutherophobia.