The Around of God
God often takes us around life scenarios and so thankful that He does! The around of God is frequently dismissed or downplayed. We learn from our early flannel graph days the miraculous parting of the Red Sea and God taking the Israelites through on dry ground. Miraculous indeed! However, tucked in two short verses we have the potential of missing a quality of God. In Exodus 13, we see God take the Israelites around, around a potentially icky outcome. He had just delivered them from bondage in Egypt – Pharaoh finally releases the people. Once out and about, the narrative states: “God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.” (v 17,18 NIV – emphasis mine)
God took them around so they wouldn’t encounter the Philistines (yet). They weren’t ready. This was their first road-trip with God; He didn’t want to freak them out, didn’t want them to bolt and run. Once deep in the wilderness, what is one of their main complaints, “WHY did you take us out of Egypt…” When things got tough, they reached for what was familiar, what seemed safe. It is also said of the Philistines that IF they had encountered the Hebrews at THAT time, they would see them as escaping from their masters and would not hesitate to attack them and make them slaves AGAIN. We can liken it to suddenly encountering a dangerous animal, we are NOT to take off running; the running stimulates their instinct to chase and conquer. The Philistines would have chased and conquered.
God took them around. The principle for us, just like the Israelites, we may never know the around of God. What He protects us from and what we may not be ready for. God knows! It is HIS path, HIS when and where. He leads – He protects.
When we see God pointing in one particular direction, in our freedom, may we not stop and look for the short-cut! What is ahead on that path, we may not be ready for and there may – just may be another wanting to take us captive.
The around of God.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)