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)
In today’s devotion, I want to share a bit more that is gleaned from this verse in Exodus. In addition to the things already discussed, it needs to be noted — even though it obvious —
that being led through the wilderness placed Israel in the position of having to rely completely on God. Having that many people in such barren regions required constant miraculous intervention in order for them to survive. In that vein consider that the Hebrew word midbar — which means “wilderness,” or “desert” — can also be pronounced m’daber, which means “to speak.”
Taking them into the wilderness put them in a place where they were more inclined to listen when He spoke. When they were hungry, they had to listen to what He spoke; when they were thirsty, they had to listen to what He had to say. As they journeyed through the desolate wilderness, it became evident that God was and should always be in complete control when it came to their survival. One of the first situations they encountered that underscores this point is when they came to Marah – the place of bitter water.
The main point I wish to make today is that their journey through the wilderness demonstrated that God gets involved with our daily affairs. He is the God who can deliver His people from a powerful nation and split the sea that they may cross over on dry land. But He is also the God is concerned with the intricate details of our life. Experiences such as the events at the Red Sea and Mount Sinai are “once in a lifetime” but feeding one’s family and protecting them from the elements is an every day concern for us all.
Being people of faith, it is easy for us to believe that God can create the Universe and can divide the Sea. However, we often struggle to believe that He cares about the smallest details of our life, especially the mundane issues of our every day life. The reality is that He does care and doesn’t want us to worry about such things but trust Him to care for us. With that in mind, I’ll close with the words of the Messiah who said:
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing …. If then God clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? (Luke 12:22-23, 28)
Blessings and Shalom,