It seems ironic on the surface of it that God enacted ten judgments on the Egyptians in order to release the Israelites from their bondage, only to have them turn on Him more than ten times after they had departed from their slave masters. One of their last of their acts of defiance was to decide to (elect a president and) return to Egypt! It seems trite to say so, but it was easier to get Israel out of Egypt than to get Egypt out of Israel. Obviously, I am speaking of a spirit of Egypt*. This is a spirit that probably still controls affairs in Egypt, but its influence in Israel was quite strong as well. I’m speaking of the passing of an entire generation before that spirit was out of the people of Israel.
*That’s not really a far-fetched idea. Consider the “prince of Persia” in Daniel 10:10-20. One might readily infer that these powerful spirits remain at the “same address” in the absence of other information.
Consider the following passages of scripture (emphases added). The reference point for the Israelites in all these situations was Egypt. The memory of Egypt was more pleasant to them than the will and provision of God in their then-current situations. Even in the case of the golden calf at Sinai, the people made a god like ones they had known in Egypt and referred to the Egyptianesque god as their savior. They went so far as to assign the name of The LORD to the calf. Yes, they already had the commandment regarding graven images before that point in time, but they went in that direction anyway.