Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17)
It has been proven that Israel could have made the journey from Egypt to the land of Canaan in about 11 days – it was that close. However, as we know, it didn’t work out that way. While the extra 38 years was of their own doing, the fact remains that God thought it unwise to lead them directly into the land. Put simply, they weren’t ready for the challenge, which is to say, they weren’t ready to fulfill their ultimate purpose.
Typically, God never takes His people, then or now, on a shortcut because, in order that we might fulfill His purpose, there is much to learn. Abram was not taken directly from Ur to Mount Moriah -– he had to travel a more roundabout way. Just like all of us, he had to learn to trust God without reservation before going to Mount Moriah. The children of Israel had to learn to trust God before going into the land because there were giants, fortified cities and Philistines. God acknowledged that if Israel had encountered war, they would have preferred to return to Egyptian slavery. — it was all they had ever known. To fight for a place none of them had ever seen would be expecting much and, so, God led them to the mountain to teach them His ways and to prepare them for what lay ahead.
The same concept applies to us all; as followers of Messiah there is much to learn as we make our way toward fulfilling our purpose. Once we are born again, the training and discipline begins and we must be resigned to be patient and endure the challenges that come with learning. Unfortunately, people are people and we don’t always do as we should and, consequently, we end up walking around the wilderness for an extended period. So the point to be made, today, is that if we are going to “inherit the land” we must learn to trust the Almighty without reservation. You see, there will be a generation that faces the giants and fortified cities. There is a generation that will overcome and endure until the end. These are the people who will see the fruition of God’s plan and purpose for them and their family. May it be His Will that we are that generation.
Blessings and Shalom,