“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.” Exodus 13:17-18, NLT
3rd Sunday- “No Shortcuts To Victory!”
The day the Israelites were ordered by Pharaoh to leave Egypt, their exodus would not be short. The distance from where they were, to the Red Sea, and then to safety in the region of Sinai, would take them weeks to travel. They traveled southeast of the Nile delta region, and were headed toward the Gulf of Suez. The journey wasn’t what they expected. If they went direct through Philistine territory, that would have been a much shorter route. But those five generations since Joseph, had no experience with military readiness, and the Philistines were a fighting people. God knew this, and directed them through rough terrain, and a longer route. That route, would take them to the Sea of Reeds (The Red Sea), where God intended to liberate them from Egypt, and drown Pharaoh’s army. The road to liberation is not attained through the path of leisure. The old woman in Langston Hughes’ epic poem says that life “can be like walking on an old floor, with tacks in it; all torn up.” Frederick Douglass said some people want “crops without rain; the ocean without its mighty waters.” He said in life “you may not get all that you pay for, but you will surely pay for all that you get.” Shortcuts are not enough, when God is leading us to what is best for us! No doubt, some of the released pilgrims complained about the length of time and distance; but the scripture says, “The Lord guided them, day… and … night!” When God is at work in our lives, we need to complain less and learn to trust Him more! Genuine success can’t be attained by scaling down!