Scripture: Exodus 13:7, Now it came about when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt.”
Our family once had a dark blue station wagon that was prone to overheating. This condition was not caused by length of trip, elevation, windy roads, or even warm weather. It just happened, and we simply never knew if we would reach our destinations on time, or if we would find ourselves on a roadside, waiting for the steam shooting from under the hood to subside from its billowy tantrum. Often we were pressed to pass the time creatively.
Waiting is frustrating. Detours are aggravating. We are set to go from point A to point B in minimum time. Why delay? Waiting seems such a waste, so purposeless.
Israel had a direct, clear route to Canaan, the Promised Land. A flush of freedom, of escape, propelled them forward. Anticipation tasted sweet. And God led them by a side passage, a longer less satisfying route: to protect them, to preserve them, to prepare them throughout the journey.
“A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.”
God knew a people fresh from slavery could handle only certain circumstances. They would require strength before facing war and dangers. The simple route hid deadly snares.
Thank you Lord for setting me on the roadside to sit a spell until it’s safe to travel again. Help me remember that when You direct the detour, or the delay, You are protecting me.
Psalm of Worship: Psalm 103: 14
For He Himself knows our frame;
he is mindful that we are but dust.