The longer route

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”

REFLECT
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.

RELATE
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.

REST
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.

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Day 239

by Rev Joel Yong

Habakkuk 1:13
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and are silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?

Habakkuk laments.
He ponders, and voices out his puzzlement. Since God is holy and no unholiness can come before Him or enter His sight, then how is it that evil on earth seems to escape judgment and pass unnoticed before God?

We would do well to remember the Scripture below:

2 Peter 3:8-10
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

One day, all judgment will be poured forth and we do get our dues.
Justice for the oppressed. Punishment for all sinners.
The few who do escape punishment, will only do so, because of Christ’s redemption.
Not because of anything they have done to deserve it.

So my friend, God sees the injustice and evil. And yes He does not tolerate such acts.
He will act.
Scripture is consistent about this.

Habakkuk 2:3
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.