The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, ‘You are not to go back that way again.’
Moses gives warning for Israel’s future king not to return to Egypt to acquire horses. This was prophetic as he gave it long before Saul became king. Moses knew that Israel would want to be like other nations having a king. But he specifically warns the future king not to return to Egypt and its ways. Since they were redeemed from Egypt, they must forget about the riches and lifestyles in Egypt. Some may have physically left Egypt, but mentally and emotionally haven’t checked out.
Several Israelites in the wilderness grumbled that their life in Egypt was so much better (Exod 16:3; Num 14:2). God did provide for them but they continued their complaints in spite of God’s grace. God disciplined them harshly. Why? It was an insult to God. God brought them out of suffering and slavery but he receives nothing but ungratefulness. It’s as if a prostitute is saved from her pimp but she later complains she had much more money to spend in the past and wishes to return to it!
How does this relate to us today? I believe God is still sending us the same message: “You are not to go back that way again.” What is your Egypt? For some of us, God saved us from terrible bondages and addictions. Saved from our futile lifestyles. Are we grateful to God or are we like the Israelites who yearn to return to our former ways? Have we forgotten that God brought us out of sin to become his children?
Let’s not go back the way we came any longer. God has made us new people with new ways. Let’s keep journeying with God and not look back in regret. You are not to go back the way you came.