by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Exodus 13:17-15:18; Psalms 27:1-6
READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Exodus 13:17 “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt”
After being released from slavery, the people of Israel were led out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Instead of going through a shorter route through the land of the Philistines, God led them through a much longer route through the wilderness towards the Red Sea. The route through the wilderness might be longer, but it is the better way. For God’s Word said that the Israelites were not yet well prepared to face war with the well-armed and war loving Philistines. Moreover, as the Israelites moved towards the Red Sea, they got to witness one more time the amazing wonder of God’s power (parting of the Red Sea and drowning of Pharaoh’s elite troops) which assured them of the promises of God.
In a fast paced nation like Singapore, many Singaporeans might cringe at the suggestion of going through a much longer route to reach a particular destination. Yet, the Israelites were led through the longer route for the sake of their survival and growth. When God leads us through a longer or more difficult route in our lives, we might complain and even blame Him as if He does not know what He is doing. Yet, that longer route could be just what we need. That longer route could be for the purification of our souls that have taken too many shorter but damaging routes in our lives. That longer route could be the perfect way to prepare us for what is to come.
Lord our God, may You help us to trust in You, even in times when You lead us through longer and seemingly more difficult routes. This is so that we can be better prepared and moulded to bring glory to Your Name. Amen.