Exodus 13:17-18 – “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.”
When the Israelites left Egypt, there was a shorter way to reach Canaan – through the land of the Philistines. The sensible choice would have been to save time, energy and resources and cross over the Philistine territory. They were equipped for battle, after all. But God knew better. He directed Moses to lead them away from the shortcut and towards the Red Sea, where they were eventually trapped when the Egyptian chariots chased them.
Why would God lead them out of Egypt, only to have them killed by the Egyptian army or drowned in the sea? God knew the Israelites were not ready for war against the Philistines. God had already planned a way for them to cross the Red Sea. He was going to fight on their behalf and annihilate the Egyptians who came after them. They just had to wait and allow God to work.
Do you feel your life is not heading the way you thought it should? Don’t fret. As long as you surrender to God’s will and allow Him to guide you, you are on the right track. It may seem like a detour, but God knows what He’s doing. Place your hands in His and allow Him to lead you where He wants you to go.