I was reading an article by Rob Bell the other day and he mentioned about how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, but that it was hard to get Egypt out of the Israelites. The Israelites did not know what to do with their new-found freedom. They had always, only known slavery and taskmasters. They could not comprehend what it meant to be "carried on eagles’ wings" and brought to One who would love and treasure them. (Exodus 19.4-5) They thought that rules were all about keeping them oppressed, rather than God's commandments giving them life. They would have never dreamed of taking their worries and complaints to Pharaoh; so it never occurred to them that they could take their problems to God rather than grumbling among themselves. They had left Egypt, but it stuck with them.
In the Bible, allusions to Egypt and the life of slavery there are often equated with our lives of sinfulness before coming to faith in Jesus. Unfortunately, it is hard to get "Egypt" out of us too. God forgives us and makes us his very own children and yet we continue to "wallow" in our past. We don't comprehend what it means to be totally and unconditionally loved and so we strive to earn God's favor that doesn't need to be earned. We push against the rules rather than living in freedom to love and serve. We grumble and complain to each other instead of boldly approaching the throne of grace with confidence. (Hebrews 4.16)
God, help us to take our places as your children and to live in the fullness of your love!