But God saw their sad state and promised to bring them to their own land, free before Him.
I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians..I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement...I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.--Exodus 6: 6, 8
And He did.
He brought the Pharaoh to his defeated knees, then buried both him and his whole army under the waters of the Red Sea.
And the Israelites were free.
Then they looked around.
Where were the trees and streams of water?
Where was the fruit and fields ripe with grain?
Where were the olive groves?
All they saw was sand.
They were in the desert.
God did not save them into Eden.
He freed them from Pharaoh, but not to lush ease.
He freed them into desert.
Because once they had shed their slavery, they still had to find Him.
And so it is with us.
Take away everything we once knew, and it sometimes feels like desert.
That's when we look for the pillars of cloud and fire.
Follow them, because they lead to the Promised Land.