Exodus 13:17–18: “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.”

August 16th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The fastest way to the Promised Land was along the coastal caravan route, but it was well guarded by Egyptian troops. And after 400 years of slavery, the children of Abraham had no trained or disciplined military. Since they were not yet ready to face armed conflict, God protected them by leading them along a safer path even though it wasn’t the most direct.

God knows that as young believers we get easily discouraged if we come into major opposition from the enemy (Satan) too early in our walk, so He often leads us away from battle by an indirect route. Our God is like a good boxing coach in that He arranges our opposition according to our maturity. The longer we walk with Him, the stronger the opposition we face becomes. But thankfully, as Paul wrote:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God understands what we can and cannot bear.

To the Israelites, the coastal route must have seemed like the right way to go because it was the fastest. Surely the shortest route with food and water is the best way! But the dangers of that route were too great. We often have the same thing going on in our walk with God. A direction that seems correct to our minds may in fact be too dangerous for us personally.

“Thank you, LORD, for leading us onto the right road today. We do not trust in ourselves this day but trust in You to pick the correct road.”