Crossing the Red Sea – Exodus 13:17-14:31
“…though that way was shorter…”
I’m struck by these words, early on in today’s reading. Even though it would have been shorter to go through Philistine territory, God chose to take the Israelites by the scenic (desert) route. He takes them the long-way-round!
Why? Certainly not because God was afraid of the Philistines. In the readings to come, we’ll discover that God is perfectly capable of defending His children, without their military expertise (or lack thereof).
Scripture tells us that God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” We also know that by taking them toward the Red Sea, God was ultimately preparing for an awesome display of His power, and justice for the Israelites. God had his reasons for taking them on the desert road.
When’s the last time God took you the long-way-round?
It’s easy to be frustrated when we think that there’s an easier path to take. It’s easy to lose our patience when it seems like it is taking far to long for God’s will to be accomplished in our lives. We sometimes wonder why it seems like we are suffering in the desert.
But this lesson reminds us that God has his reasons for the scenic route–and often it’s so He can teach us something, or because He has something better in store for us. What has God taught you on the desert road?
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
– Isaiah 55:8-9