They left under the leadership of Moses, and were guided by the Lord who appeared to them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22).
The Bible reads, “God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land,” but that the Lord “led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea” (Exodus 13:17-18). One of the reasons the Lord led them in this way is because He knew that they were not yet ready to face the warlike Philistines (Exodus 13:17).
Question – “When has the Lord led you in a ‘roundabout way’ and have you discerned His reason and purpose for doing so?” The Lord often leads us in “roundabout ways” so that He can toughen us and test us – and prepare us for great victories in the future. Just because the Lord is leading us around in the wilderness does not mean that He has forgotten us, neglected us or left us. The Lord was still with the Israelites, leading them by day and night, and He is still with us even when we don’t understand where He is leading us. Now, the Bible teaches that the Lord led the Israelites into a “dead-end situation.” They were encamped along the Red Sea when they were approached by the Egyptian army, who had now rallied from former despair and was attempting to recapture the Israelites and bring them back to Egypt.
Second Question – “When have you been in ‘dead end situations’ in your life – and what has been your typical response when you found yourself in those ‘situations’?” Most of us respond to such situations as the Israelites did. We cry out in fear and frustration. The Bible says that “the people began to panic” and “they turned against Moses and complained, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness?’” That may be the way that you respond when faced with “dead-end situations” in your life. When you don’t see any way to pay your bills, any hope for your marriage, any solution for your physical ailments, any hope for reconciliation in a broken relationship, any “light at the end of the tunnel,” how do you respond? Again, during similar times, many of us probably respond with frustration and fear.
Listen again to Moses: “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue
you. . . . The Lord Himself will fight for you. You won’t have to lift a finger in your defense!” (Exodus 14:13-14).
Third Question – “What ‘dead end situation’ are you facing right now – and what do you need to do to turn that situation over to the Lord?” The Devil wants us to be fear-filled and hopeless. The Lord wants us to be faith-filled and victorious. When we are able to face such situations with faith rather than fear, we will see and experience in our lives the miraculous “salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13)!
As you pray today: 1) Pray for the Lord to reveal to you any frustration or fear you may be struggling with as a result of the “detours” or “dead ends” you are experiencing in your life – and repent and ask Him to forgive you for your frustration and your faithlessness; 2) Ask the Lord to miraculously intervene in your situation, and communicate to Him that you are going to follow Him wherever He leads you, and that you are going to trust Him regardless of how bleak the situation may appear to be; and 3) Pray for the Lord to make you a faith-filled individual rather than a frustration-filled or fear-filled individual.
The Bible teaches that “without faith it is impossible to please God” and that “the Lord is a rewarder of all who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). The Lord will respond to and reward your faith today!