Read Exodus 13
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, ‘Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.’ But God led the people around by way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea” (vv17-18).
They were equipped for battle, but God knew the inclinations of His people’s hearts. They were beat down and desperately needy. So He led them by another way. They took the long way home. Because God knew His people were apt to get distracted from what they needed. He knew their passion for everything instant.
Funny how God had ordained for them to carry up their father Joseph’s bones to fulfill their promise of long ago. (See Gen. 50:25.) Even as God pulled His people from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, He fulfilled His promise to Joseph from those many years ago. And the people of Israel carried the very physical representation of that promise fulfilled as they marched out of Egypt and into the land of freedom.
He led them by cloud and by fire. Every step led by God Himself. Almighty God led His people’s every step into the promise, even while keeping in front of them His faithfulness to fulfill it.
Although the propensity of their hearts was to give up and forget their faithful God, the propensity of His was to never, ever forget that promise. Always faithful.
Our hearts are apt for that same instant gratification that the Israelites wanted. We know God’s promise for abundance and prosperity, but right now things are tough. Loved ones get sick and die. Bosses tighten the budget and demand the impossible. Children make poor choices, and leave us broken-hearted and wondering about God’s promise.
Still, He is faithful.
Just like God was faithful to His promise to Joseph, He is faithful to His promise to you and me — real and abundant life. We might not see it yet. It might even feel like forever.
He will deliver. If only we will be faithful to believe, as He is faithful to deliver.