I then read these words from Genesis 47:27-28, "They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number. Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years and the years of his life were one hundred forty-seven." That struck me as I read this this week. See, the famine ended about four or five years after they went to Egypt. It was done. Yet, they stayed.
Jacob did not go back to the land he owned and was promised by God. Why not? Was it because his son ruled Egypt and he wanted to be with him? Or, was it all the wealth he and his sons had acquired in Egypt?
Could they not have acquired that wealth in the Promised Land? Could they not have experienced God in his Promised Land? Here is what I am wrestling. Jacob's descendants became slaves to Jacob's comfort zone. They did not go back to the Promised Land until they went through hardship and even slavery. God rescued them through Moses. Of course, they had already been entrapped emotionally to having to have comfort. But if they would have left at the end of the famine, they could have been a strong nation of 400 years old. But they didn't. They liked their comfort zones. Their descendants liked their comfort zones.
So, beware! Comfort zones have several difficulties:
- Comfort zones lead us from where God wants us to be. We miss out on God's promises.
- Comfort zones hinder growth. Iron sharpens iron, not sofa sharpens couch potato.
- Comfort zones enslave us both emotionally and physically.
- The next generations end up expecting only comfort.
- The next generations don't handle challenges and tests well.