In Exodus 13, as Israel finally exits Egypt, plundering the Egyptians on their way out and proving once and for all the power of their God, they head out toward the promised land…well, kind of. God actually led them on a major detour. If you looked a map, you could almost draw a straight line east from Egypt to Canaan, where they were heading. But instead of taking the quick, straight route, God took them on a massive detour, down to the Red Sea and Mt. Sinai. If you flipped a triangle upside down so it’s standing on its point, the direct route would be the top straight line. Instead, they went all the way down and all the way back up.

Why the detour? Exodus 13 gives us some insider info…

“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.’”

Exodus 13:17

God knew if they went the straight route, they would immediately run into war with the Philistines. He wasn’t worried about His ability to defeat the Philistines, but He wanted to protect them from discouragement and their natural tendency to want to turn back.

Sometimes the quick way is a much more dangerous and potentially disastrous way. Sometimes the detour is actually God’s protection. The detour may take longer, but it’s also filled with opportunities to learn to trust God even more so you are prepared when you finally arrive at your destination!

The long way around is for your protection and for your preparation.

Maybe you are in a season of detouring right now. Don’t be discouraged. God has your best in mind. And just like the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud that “never departed” from Israel in Exodus 13, God is always leading you…even when it seems like it’s taking forever. Trust Him!

  K E V I N • M I L L E R

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