Why the Long Way?

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea…
Exodus 13: 17-18

We all know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but God’s route for leaving Egypt was to lead the people the LONG way around rather than the shortest.

The short route would have taken them through Philistine country. He chose to avoid this potential danger. God knew the people were weak-hearted, easily frightened, and lacking in resolve.

But He protected and redeemed them anyway.

He knew the first sign of struggle could have them scurrying right back to bondage in Egypt.

But He protected and redeemed them anyway.

He knew that the first struggle would find them completely forgetting about the many miracles that had led to their release from bondage.

But He redeemed them anyway!

Their weakness, fear, lack of conviction, and short memories would serve as a backdrop to make God’s glory shine brighter, His grace be all the more remarkable, and His love more unfathomable!

God saves, loves, and redeems the weak and the undeserving. That’s the Israelites…and that’s you and me, too.

God gave them the easy way because He knew they weren’t ready for the hard way …yet. He chose to protect them from the danger called the Philistines and lead them to a place where retreat will not be an option. A place where they would be completely hemmed in – the Red Sea in front and Pharaoh’s army behind. A place where they could only look up and look to Him.

God will faithfully lead and direct where they are to go. They begin to learn (and will need to re-learn) the lesson of trusting Him.

Are you trusting Him today? Are you re-learning to trust Him with your “Red Sea” moments? Is He calling you to, “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46: 10

Laura Macfarlan