Have you every been in a strange location and come upon a detour sign? You are unsure of where the detour will lead you, but trust that it will eventually get you back onto the road you want to be on.
There are detours in our lives that changes our coarse, our plans, and our desires. When Terrie died, my life began a new and unexpected detour. For you, it might have been a divorce or a loss of a job or health difficulties, but while disappointing and even, heartbreaking, we must move forward, trusting this new path will eventually, get us back to where we wanted to go.
17 Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. Exodus 13:17,18 NASB
The children of Israel faced a huge detour in their lives and the life of their nation.
They had just been driven out of Egypt after the tenth plague. The natural way out of Egypt would have been along the Mediterranean coast line to Palestine, but that way was not God’s way.
From the trade route, He had them zig-zag back and forth until they were against the Red Sea. To an outsider, it would appear they were lost and didn’t know where they were going, but God knew.
The Egyptian army on one side, the Red Sea on the other. They cried out to Moses, “Were there not enough graves for us in Egypt, that you had to bring us here to die!” From a human point of view, they were right. They would either be killed by the Egyptian soldier’s or drown trying to get away.
But God, two words you should circle in your Bible every time you read them, had a different plan and purpose. God had given them a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire at night. As the army was coming and the sun was going down, God told Moses to raise his staff and have the waters of the Red Sea part. He did and it did. The wall water became a corridor for Israel to cross on dry ground and they crossed.
As morning came, the Egyptian army tried using the same corridor, but had a very different result. What was a way of escape for God’s people became a death trap for their enemies. Every soldier, every horse drowned.
Once on the other side of the Red Sea, Israels difficulties did not end. What would normally take a few weeks of travel time took forty years.
God had much to show them, to teach them, to get “Egyptian” out of their daily life and replace it with God’s way of living.
They were a stubborn, complaining, and un-appreciative people (they may have been Baptist), but all the while God provided for them with fresh water, their clothes and shoes did not wear out, and daily food from Heaven.
As we go on our detour, may we remember that we are not alone and that God will provide for us each day. There will be days we get discouraged, but He understands that we are made from dust.
I pray that those that are on a detour, whether short or long, will be encouraged by this and to keep walking, looking ahead. We will get there!