By David Thomas
Today's Scripture: Exodus 13:17-18
Central Thought: God knows the best path for our lives to follow.
Sometimes, the shortest route from Point A to Point B is not the best route to follow. For the children of Israel, the quickest path from Goshen to Canaan would have taken them through the Philistine country, but God plotted a different trek for them to follow.
God knew what the Israelites did not: There was a part of the journey they were not prepared to attempt. The most direct route would have taken the Israelites along the Egyptians' military road. There, they would have been exposed to possible military confrontations that God saw as potential endpoints to their journey. At any one of those spots, Exodus 13:17 tells us, the Israelites could have decided the trip was not worth the effort and returned to Egypt.
Thus, instead of directing the Israelites along a path that would have taken them east and then northeast along the Mediterranean Sea, God sent His children to the southeast, toward the Red Sea. The extra time that route required proved invaluable in the Israelites' spiritual growth. God knew they needed more time with Him before they could overcome the challenges the most direct path held, so he provided it for them in a less-than-direct route to Canaan.
But Canaan was, in reality, only one of the Israelites' destinations. It was their physical destination. Their spiritual destination was a relationship with God, and that journey was more important in God's eyes. That is why He pointed them to take not the shortest route, but the best route.
It is important that we always allow God to be our journey planner. He is able to see the entire path ahead of us. He knows what challenges we are prepared for and when we could use a little more preparation time. God has a spiritual destination set for each of us, and He knows the path that will best take us there.
Sometimes, as odd as it may sound, the longer route is the most direct path to where God wants to take us.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in Your plans and see with Your eyes the destination You have established for me.
Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 13:17-15:18; Matthew 21:23-46; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 6:16-19