The Long Way Around

17 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:

Exodus 3:17

 God had plans for Moses. He was to bring His people out of captivity in Egypt. When Pharaoh finally let God’s people go, they marched out of Egypt with their captors’ silver and gold.

Strangely, God led them not along the direct route to Canaan, but the long way around. Had they gone the shortest route, they would have reached their destination in about a week. But the journey would have taken them through hostile Philistine country. These Hebrews, having spent the last 8 generations in slavery, were in no position to fight. So God took them the long way around.

Has God ever taken you the long way around? Have you ever wondered why God did it the hard way instead of making it easy for you? Sometimes, we just are not mentally, emotionally, or spiritually prepared to face what God knows awaits us. We need to grow and mature. God makes sure we go the long way around to get prepared.

Not only did God lead them the long way around, He led them to the Red Sea. Pharaoh had changed his mind and was in pursuit. He had the Hebrews trapped at the Red Sea; or so he thought.

What seemed like the end for God’s people had two purposes.  First, God wanted the Egyptians to know that He is Lord. Second, God wanted His people to experience a deeper and lasting revelation of who God is.

Sometimes we find ourselves going the long way around because He has the salvation of others in His plan. For example, God’s healing may not always come when we want it to. But as we stay faithful in our journey we learn that God puts others in our path so He can use us to bring His love and show His glory to someone else.

When we will stay true to the journey, God will bring us through the experience. And when He does, we will have a deeper and lasting revelation of who He is. When the Hebrews were trapped, God parted the Red Sea. When we don’t see the way out, God will open the door we are looking for. And when He does, He reveals to us something we didn’t know, or maybe we forgot, about God.

When you think God is taking you the long way around, don’t worry. He has a purpose, and you don’t want to miss out on what that is!

© Charles A. Kalkomey

September 17, 2017