How did the Hebrews get across the Red Sea? (God split it open and they walked across on dry land.)
Did God keep his people safe? (Yes!)
Who was always with Moses and the Hebrews? (God!)
Read: Exodus 13:17-14:31
God led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the wilderness by the longest way possible. Why did he take them that way? The shortest route was occupied by the mighty and intimidating Philistines, and God must have known his people were too worn out, physically exhausted, and mentally drained from centuries of slavery to handle that kind of opposition. It appears from the story that God’s heart was intent on protecting their broken spirits and tired bodies.
God was also intent on giving them constant reminders of his presence with them. He led the Israelites with a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud in the day. The Israelites may not have been sure of where they were going, but they did know who was leading them.
Then God led the Israelites straight into the Red Sea. Had they gone the shorter route, they would’ve missed God’s incredible miracle there. And the miracle went a long way to build the Israelites faith. Exodus 14:31 tells us that, “when the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and his servant Moses.”
God wanted his people to lean their lives against him, to have faith in him, and see that he was worthy of their trust. He wants the same from us today. When we end up taking the longest way possible or running right into a giant obstacle in our path, we wonder why. But this story shows us that even then we can be confident that God’s leading is based on his love for us and his all-knowing ways. Maybe he is protecting our broken spirits or tired souls. Maybe he is preparing to show us something powerful so that we will trust the heart of a God who loves us. God always protects us, always knows what’s best for us, and never, ever leaves us.
Maybe you are on the “this doesn’t make sense, why is this happening?” road right now. How does this story encourage you to trust God in the midst of what is happening?
Exodus 14:13-14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Memorize this verse this week. What does it mean to you that God is fighting for you?