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Short Thought continued.....

Israel’s Wilderness Detour


’When Pharaoh finally let the people go,

God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory,

even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land.  

God said, “If the people are faced with a battle,

they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”  

So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.

The Lord went ahead of them.  

He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud,

and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire.

This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 

And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire

from its place in front of the people.’

(Exodus 13:17, 18, 21 & 22 NLT)


The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for many years. 

Some of them having been born and raised in Egypt had known no other way of life.

They had been restricted and constrained in many ways, governed unjustly,

been under the authority and control of others and had lived in fear.

They had the mindset of slaves.


As God led His people out of Egypt He did not take them

via the shortest and most direct route.  

He took them on a roundabout detour.

He knew that they were physically, emotionally and spiritually weary;

He knew that they were vulnerable and afraid;

that they were not strong enough to defend themselves from the attack of others

or strong enough in mind to keep going and not turn back.


God’s chosen route was a wise, safer and gentler one,

even if it was a longer roundabout detour.

As the Israelites journeyed God provided what was needed:

His presence, guidance and protection.

His presence and guidance were in the cloud and fire

which was continually in front of them.

His protection in the route He chose.


Sometimes we can be perplexed or frustrated by the route

God chooses to take us along.

We can see a shorter, more direct route to where we want to be.


However, what if He is taking us via a safer, gentler detour route

where his presence and guidance is protecting us

from encountering troubles which may cause us to return to our ‘Egypt’?


God doesn't always take us via the shortest most direct route to where He is leading us

and this for our own good, for He knows our weariness, vulnerabilities, fears and

where we are not strong enough to withstand a battle.


He continually goes ahead of us, He guides us with His presence, He lights up the way.

This detour route which He has chosen is His wisest best choice of route.

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