Life’s path is often difficult. So if we expect that God will always give us an easy road, we may be tempted to turn our back on Him when the terrain gets tough.
If you’ve ever considered doing that, think about the people of Israel. When they were given freedom from the Egyptians after hundreds of years of bondage, they took off for the Promised Land. But God didn’t send them straight home. He “did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter” (Ex. 13:17). Instead He sent them on the hard road through the desert. In the short run, this helped them avoid wars (v. 17), but in the long run, there was something bigger at work.
God used that time in the desert to instruct and mature the people He had called to follow Him. The easy road would have led them to disaster. The long road prepared the nation of Israel for their successful entry into the Promised Land.
Our God is faithful, and we can trust Him to lead us and care for us no matter what we face. We may not understand the reason for the path we are on, but we can trust Him to help us grow in faith and maturity along the way.
Lord, we cannot see the path ahead, so we must trust that the way is right and that it is the best road for us to take. Please encourage us, and teach us as we let You direct our path.
God’s timing is always right—wait patiently for Him.
In today’s passage we read that after the Israelites left Egypt, God led them “around by the desert road toward the Red Sea” (vv. 17–18).Though there were shorter routes, God led them a longer way around the desert and demonstrated His faithfulness and power. His faithful presence was with them in pillars of fire and cloud (vv. 21–22), and He demonstrated His power by His miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians (Ex. 14).