“Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea” (Exodus 13:18).

Ancient maps indicate a northeasterly path out of Egypt as the most direct route to the promised land of Canaan; perhaps two weeks of travel. Instead, knowing the Hebrews were emotionally and spiritually unprepared to battle as a conquering army; that they didn’t want to leave Egypt in the first place (Exodus 14:12), God providentially directed them southward, away from the Philistines and Canaanites. The course upon which God sets our life is rarely, if ever, a straight line to the promise land. It’s only as we look back at the winding journey of our lives that we recognize how God protected us from what we did not know and what we could not see.

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