The Shorter Route is Not Always Better: A Lesson From Israel’s Wilderness Journey

When God was to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He had two options: a shorter way and a longer one.

The way through the land of the Philistines was the shorter one. The longer path was the route through the wilderness.

Along the shorter way, war was waiting by the side. But the Israelites were not prepared to face war – not in any way you can think of. And He knew they would turn around and head back to Egypt when they come to that point.

He knew they would have fled back before they remember that they had Yahweh – the All-sufficient one – on their side.

So He led them through the longer route – through the wilderness. The wilderness path would surely have its challenges. But He also knew there would be nothing distressing enough to compel a quick u-turn back to bondage.

Sometimes, our journey seems long like one in the wilderness. We desire it to be shorter. But God always knows better. The other route may be shorter but there may be stuff we can’t withstand along the path.

We cannot see it. But He does. So, He leads us along the farther way.

But even on this way, we need to trust Him and cooperate with Him so we do not prolong the journey like the Israelites did.

Though longer, the route which God took them through was meant to last only 11 days. But in the end, it lasted 40 years.

That is an unbelievable stretch of delay that would never have been if they wholly aligned with the One who brought them out of bondage.

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