“When Pharaoh let the people go, 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.” Exodus 13:17
If you’re like me, you like things quick and easy. In fact most of today’s modern inventions are made to quicken up the process of doing or making something. Cars were invented for faster transportation and when that wasn’t fast enough, then came freeways. We are constantly looking for the easy way, the shorter way, but in Exodus 13:17 it says “God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.” We can see that God deliberately choose to take the Israelites the longer way instead of the shorter way. It’s important to know that sometimes the long way is the right way even when our flesh and spirit desires the short way.
Everything God does has a purpose, for the Israelites the reason for the longer way was because God knew if they faced war, they would return back to Egypt. However, God’s purpose in taking them through the desert for 40 years didn’t stop there. During this long, agonizing journey at times, God was able to spiritually strengthen and prepare them for the entrance into the Holy Land. In other words it was a crucial process for the Israelites. The same goes for our lives. Sometimes the easy way won’t cut it for us because it won’t build our character or spiritually strengthen us the way God intends it to. It’s through these longer moments that we learn to trust God more.
Many times we argue with God, demanding to have things right away or questioning why things can’t just happen immediately. In our minds we say, well God since you can everything, why can’t you just make this happen for me now. There are no short cuts in the kingdom. That’s like Jesus asking The Father umm Hey Dad isn’t there an easier less painful way to do this? It sounds silly doesn’t it? Yet, that’s what we do whenever God wants to purposely take us through an extensive process, we get angry and impatient, failing to stop and ask God what He wants to teach us through this process. Romans 5:4 says, “And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” We need to trust that if God wanted the shorter way for us, He would lead us through it.