Remembering God’s Direction
If you look at a Bible map showing Goshen, where the Hebrew slaves lived in northern Egypt, you’ll notice that the Red Sea they crossed is south of Goshen, but the Promised Land is north. So, why did God lead the Jewish people out of Egypt in the opposite direction of their destination? Why not take them across the top of the Sinai Peninsula along the Mediterranean Sea for a direct route to the Land He would give them?
“After Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby, for God said, ‘The people might change their minds if they see war and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds...”
The direct road passed through the land of the Philistines, a people evidently prone to war. God knew the Israelites – He knew that when they saw danger, they might turn around and go back to Egypt rather than face war. If they returned to Egypt, they would forfeit their destiny as a free people with a land of their own. It would affect the individuals, nation and generations to come. So God took them by another route.
Sometimes, God leads in ways that don’t make sense to us at the time. His direction can seem like a detour, leaving us to wonder why we’re going this way when we are confident He had called us that way. His route can feel like the long and hard way when a much quicker road is in sight, ready for the taking.
God sees from a much higher vantage point than we can. He sees all of time at once. Our thwarted plans, postponed dreams, and seemingly stalled progress are often part of God’s detailed plan to get us to our destiny and His appointed purpose for us. While we don’t see the whole map at once, we can trust that God does. He has good plans for us. They just may not take the shortest route to get us there. In fact, they often don’t because the path is part of His purpose.
“For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
“Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”
Remembrance is important to God. Over and over, He told the Jewish people to remember what He had done for them at the Passover. Today’s Passover observances honor that command as Jewish families review the Exodus story and teach their children about God’s hand in the lives of their people. Remembrance is good for us individually, as well.
Take some time to remember a point in your life when God’s plans didn’t necessarily line up with your own, but He proved His ways best to you. How did His re-direction change your life and open the way to further blessings? Add these to your list of remembrances from the previous days of this devotional series. As you return to your collection in the future, you will be blessed to see God’s hand in a variety of ways throughout your life.