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)
As we shared yesterday, God acknowledged that His people were unprepared to enter Canaan upon their departure from Egypt. The reality is, the quickest route to the land of Canaan also provided the quickest route back to Egypt. They had been living in Egypt for so long that Egypt took up residence within them. They were still thinking as “slaves” and would have been intimidated by the war-like Philistines.
The route that led to Sinai took them away from Egypt and, coincidentally, made it a bit more difficult to return there. This is important because, according to the Bible, there were those who, from the outset of their journey, looked for an excuse and an opportunity to return to Egypt. Had it been easy, many of them most likely would have made the attempt to do it.
So consider this as you contemplate a question: have you ever thought that you’ve gone through too much to turn back now? If you’ve been following the Messiah for any length of time you know what I’m talking about. You have too much invested in this journey to quit now — too many tears, too much hardship and too many obstacles that have been overcome. To give up now might prove to be just as difficult as the journey that brought you to this point. And so, just maybe, the Creator orchestrated things that way; He didn’t make it easy for you to get to Canaan because, if He had, it would have been too easy to turn back to the life you used to know.
And so because of the hardships, trials and tribulations we have learned to trust Him to see us through to the end. Knowing that He has been faithful in the past gives us confidence that He will be faithful in the future. There is an old song written by the late Andrea Crouch that sums up these thoughts. The chorus says:
“Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”
Blessings and Shalom,