Trusting God in the wilderness: When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt through Moses, the journey was meticulously planned by God. Even though the children of Israel were not a fighting force but consisted of 600,000 men on foot besides women, children and a mixed multitude (Exodus 12:37-38), they were referred to as “the armies of the Lord” (Exodus 12:41b, 51b) and they went up in “orderly ranks” out of Egypt (Exodus 13:18b). God did not allow the Israelites to go by the land of the Philistines even though it was a shorter way, for God said “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. (Exodus 13:17-18a). There were many obstacles to be encountered in the wilderness journey starting with the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and the bitter waters at Marah (Exodus 15:22-25). However, God went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light (Exodus 13:21-22). We also read that the Angel of God went before them as their navigator, but at the time of need went behind them as their protector as well (Exodus 14:19).
Just like God chose to lead the Israelites through a longer route that protected, trained and tested them, at times God also leads us through a longer route of trails and difficulties. Do you feel impatient and discouraged when things don’t happen the way we plan in our lives? Just accept the path that God has placed us in, and be content with God’s purpose in our lives. As Hebrews 12:1-2 exhorts us, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. Let us trust in God to lead us through in our wilderness journey into the Promised Land!