Soon after the victory of the Red Sea, the Israelites found themselves grumbling against the Lord. They encamped in Elim where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. When they left, they came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. The desert was arid and difficult, unlike Elim. "In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "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. It is interesting how the people forgot the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt, only remembering the illusion of the 'good times' that were really not that great. The truth is, they were crying out to the Lord because of the pain of their slavery and He delivered them. The journey of Exodus is really a story about revelation. It is here that God begins to make Himself known to the Israelites, and ultimately to us. Not to be outdone by their complaints, God rains down manna and quail from heaven, giving the people an overabundance of food because He is GOD ALMIGHTY.
When we are tempted to hold on to the illusion of the past for comfort in the present, we will find ourselves in danger of wanting to go back. Let us not be deceived but hold on to the goodness of the LORD and keep marching forward, into the Promised Land. As the Apostle Paul emphatically says, "but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14