As I read this morning’s Bible reading in One Year Bible, I began to think about broken people trying to leave broken lifestyles. Let’s read it together.
Ex 13:17 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.”
18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[a] Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.[b]
We all know the story, 10 plagues, Moses and Pharoah, “Let my people go!”
Imagine if you will the mindset of these people. Beaten, broken, enslaved for as long as anyone could remember, suddenly delivered by the hand of God, yet not yet fully trusting God fully yet.
Remember when God called David, and Samuel had a hard time accepting it:
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
He knows what we are made of, and what it takes to build a strong foundation of faith into our hearts, that one day will allow us to be the warriors, delivers, and victors in life’s battles.
If any of you have seen the movie ‘Captain America’ there is a scene where the commanding officer says something like, ‘there is no way we can make a soldier out of him’, then in one of the drills, Cap falls upon a grenade to protect the other guys in his platoon, and the hardened soldier gets some instruction. He had looked at the small stature and fraility of the man, yet his courage in battle revealed his heart.
In this case, God knew the children of Israel were not ready for a battle yet with the Philistines, so He led them on a longer route.
Anyone read the Christian classic: ‘Hinds Feet on Hinds Places?”
It is the journey where a fictional character named ‘poor little much afraid’ is transformed through a journey with the Shepherd, to receive her hinds feet to be able to leap around the mountains with a new name: ‘Grace and glory” It’s a great read, but the point that comes to mind is the way that that Shepherd leads her on their journey, the horror of being led directly away from her destination into the desert, instead of up the mountain.
Seems the Shepherd was wiser than her though, because near the end of the book, she discovers the extra miles in the desert had strengthened her to climb the steep dangerous cliffs, and in exhilaration she discovered she had conquered her fears, and was able to leap the tall heights with ease and joy.
Over the years, I have worked with broken people, each struggling with some deep dark secret pattern of destructive behavior. Addicts especially come to mind, and how relevant this verse is in their lives. They cannot be around alcohol or drugs of any form for some time, until they become strong, the temptation is too great.
In this Bible reading, the children of Israel were about to come in between a rock and a hard place, with far worse than the Philistines to face, the entire army of Egypt was about to back them up to the Red sea, and you know the rest of the story, God fought for them that day, as a whirlwind, a sea parter, and One who is altogether faithful.
Maybe you are in a fight for your life today. Literally, or spiritually, it doesn’t matter.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ASV)
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.
Jesus is the way, and also the waymaker. He will provide, He will deliver, He will lead you away from battles you are not yet qualified to fight. He knows, He cares, He loves.
“Father, I need you to lead and guide me today. Show me Your will and Your way. Deliver me from the brutal circumstances that seek to destroy me, and show me the straight and narrow way Jesus promised is available to me. Amen”