But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. ~Exodus 13:18
The children of Israel were now ready to begin their journey away from Egypt towards the land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey. However, we are told that God did not lead them through a shorter and more logical path (v. 17). God led them through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. What appeared to be a more direct way was closed to them. God did not lead them through a shorter way: God was leading them through a longer way. God was showing them that were no shortcuts to their destination. There are no shortcuts in the will of God, the work of God, and the ways of God. We may try to find some alternate way of doing things only to find out the hard way that shortcuts will not get us where we want to go.
We see the passage.
“And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies” (Exodus 12:51). Pharaoh had conceded his defeat at the hands of God and had let Israel go! As Moses gathered the large mass of people together, the journey ahead of them looked exciting, yet there were many questions in their minds. Where are we going? How long will it take? All these people knew was life in bondage for 400+ years. All they knew was the lifestyle of Egypt. However, “the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.” The passage God places ahead of us is where we walk by faith, and not by sight. Faith is when the Lord brings us.
We see the prohibition.
“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt….” The first thing about the journey is where are we not supposed to go. We are told that “God led them not….” There was a closer, more direct route, but God knew that the people would see the threat of battle and would lose heart. In effect, God was saying that there are no shortcuts to where He was leading them. There are no shortcuts to Heaven: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There are no shortcuts to holiness. “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” There are no shortcuts to happiness. Real happiness is found in a walk with the Lord. Jesus promises that our joy is full when we obey His Word. Just as Israel quickly found out there are no shortcuts to the Promise Land, there are no shortcuts in the Christian life.
We see the providence.
“But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” God knows the way we should take. “But God” implies divine providence. God said, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” God leads us carefully. God leads us lovingly. God leads us knowingly. God led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. These symbols of His presence gave continuous assurance that they were always in God’s sight and that as long as they followed Him, they were never in danger of walking in the wrong path. There are no shortcuts with God. Have faith in Him however He leads you in the way.
Have a directed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 96-102