Monday, January 26, 2009

The Long Way Home...

Exodus 13-15 is one of the most exciting passages in all of scripture. With God leading the children of Israel in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, they left Egypt after Pharaoh finally relented and approved their departure.

I love so many things about this story. I'm fascinated that scripture says that God didn't lead them along the main road which was the shortest route to the promised land, instead, verses 17 and 18 of chapter 13 say: God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea...

When the Egyptians gave chase, Moses' words are a compelling reminder that God's might and power are unstoppable. Verses 13 and 14 of chapter 14 read: 13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

For Christmas, we gave a special person in our lives the gift of a GPS device. Global Positioning Systems are wonderful tools that provide turn by turn directions to chosen destinations, and they can be immensely helpful. Thankfully, I was blessed with a decent sense of direction and cannot recall ever feeling "lost" before owning my own GPS gadget, but I have friends and family who can get directionally confused even in a mall parking lot. What I can recall being guilty of however, is fidgeting in the passenger seat with a significant degree of frustration when I didn't think the driver was taking the best route to our destination.

For this reason, I'm pretty sure I might have been grumbling and mumbling if I were along for the journey when God led his children to take what seemed to be an illogical route out of Egypt-- which begs the question, have there been times in my life when I've griped about the route he chose for me? Probably. God knows me. He knows you, too. And we are not so different than the children of Israel. He's well aware that when we are faced with battles, our tendency is to run back to our comfort zone even if it isn't his best for us.

Today Father, my prayer is this: Order our steps and help us trust that you will always lead us to the promised land via the route that you know is best--even if it's the long way. May we be able to stand still, stay calm, and watch you fight for us when we face life's battles, and will you please give us strength and deliverance when we ignorantly want to run back to Egypt.

No comments:

Post a Comment