"For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him." Isaiah 30:18
Text: Exodus 13 : 17-22
CHOOSING THE ROUTE TO THE PROMISED LAND
Every detail was looked into! This was the kind of care and attention that the Lord devoted to His people. Even the matter of the route to Canaan was carefully thought out!
“Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go,
that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines,
although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people
change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’
So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of
the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks
out of the land of Egypt.”
1. Rejecting the shorter route
There was a shorter route and there was a longer one. The former would traverse the land of the Philistines. These were warlike. Seeing a huge company of people coming out of Egypt would tempt the Philistines to attack them. The children of Israel had not yet developed strength of faith or mind for the difficult challenges that war would impose upon them!
2. The danger of being tempted to return to Egypt
This was not an idle thought. The children of Israel were not yet strong enough to press on determinedly towards the Promised Land. Canaan was at best a notion in their mind. But they knew Egypt far better. If they were afraid, they might well attempt to return to Egypt for safety reasons!
3. Choosing the longer route
It was God who chose the route for the children of Israel. He had His own plans as to why He chose to lead them “by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea”.
FULFILLING JOSEPH’S WISH
Jacob’s wish to be buried in Canaan was fulfilled by Joseph. After he died, his body was laid to rest in the land of Promise. Joseph’s wish to be buried in Canaan was now fulfilled by Moses (Exodus 13:19).
THE PROTECTIVE PRESENCE OF GOD
One of the most spectacular expressions of God’s love and care for His people must be found in the following text! He gave them His protective Presence!
“So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham
at the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by
day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar
of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not
take away the pillar of cloud by day, or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.”