The Shortest Way

The Shortest Way

25 January 2009


17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army. (Exodus 13:17-18 NLT)


To the Israelis, this must have seemed like “Finally that’s over and in a few days we’ll be settling into the Promised Land!” But God didn’t lead them on the shortest way from Egypt to Canaan.

God knew they needed to see another big miracle (crossing the Red Sea) and a whole series of smaller miracles (water from a rock, daily manna) so they would learn to trust him daily and not only in times of crisis.

God also knew that they needed to learn his ways and his laws so that they could live their lives differently from the brutal and immoral pagans whose land they would inherit.


Like the Israelis on the way out of Egypt, I’m inclined to think that if God will do the “heavy lifting” and break things loose, I can figure it out from there. The shortest way is not always the best way and it’s important to experience God’s daily provision and direction power as well as his crisis intervention power. It’s also important to give God time to do his work in me as well as expecting him to do something for me.


Father, Thanks for the eternal lesson of Passover redemption by the blood of the lamb. Thanks for the daily lessons of provision and direction. Please forgive me for all the times I’m thinking, “Thanks, but I can take it from here!” Lead me by the route you know is best for me, whether it’s the shortest way to what I want or whether it leads to what I really need. I choose to follow your chosen path. Amen.

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