When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”
After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13: 17 – 22(NIV)
Have you ever tried to gain victory in an area of your life, and the minute you try to break free from something that has been holding you back, you struggle worse than you did in the beginning?
I remember asking God to help me break free from deep discontentment, all I wanted when I prayed for that freedom, was for God to supernaturally take it away. I go to sleep, and wake up a new person. Simple, right? Wrong, God led me on a 2 year journey to break free from that stronghold.
God sees the root of our bondage, our habits, and weaknesses and he loves to get right in there and dig it all up, and he loves to take his time (he doesn’t want to kill us doing it)
If you just can’t seem to find breakthrough, or freedom in an area of your life, then you NEED to read through Exodus. If you read through it slowly, it will change your life.
I will be spending the next few weekly devotionals , on the exodus of the Israelites. It will be worth it. We are going to go through, over the next few weeks – Exodus 13 & 14.
I pray you will use these next few weeks to really seek God for breakthrough in your life. Now is the time!
Here we go…
A little back story to Exodus 13 – The Israelites have been in captivity as slaves in Egypt for generations. In fact, they have been in bondage for so long, they don’t even know what freedom looks like. Before this scripture, God has sent Moses in to convince the Israelites to leave and to persuade, Pharaoh to let them go. Most of us know that Pharaoh wasn’t happy about it, and despite the plagues and pestilence God sent, he refused. Then God took his first born son and then Pharaoh listened. Then he let them go, and the Exodus out of Egypt began.
In all the movies, we see the Israelites taken straight to the Red Sea, but truly they were led into the 1st wilderness, before reaching the sea and they weren’t very happy about it.
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Exodus -13:17(NIV)
Why did God chose that way? Why would God choose for them to go into battle versus taking the shorter and safer way out? What the heck?!
Here is what God is saying in this passage : If I lead them the EASY way out, without them having to fight for their own freedom alongside Me, the first moment of stress or fear that comes on them, they will rush back to their bondage.
Do you see?
God wanted the Israelites to be free forever, he allowed his children to fight for their freedom so that they would fight to keep it, and not rush back to Eygypt.
Let’s relate it to weight loss. Something many of us battle, some even need to break free for their life’s sake.
There are so many ‘get skinny’ quick pills, surgeries and diets we can do to get to our goal and be free from the bulge instantly. We get to our size 6 jeans and we celebrate, we have done it! We are free! Then, life hits like an army boot in the face and we instantly dive into the Doritos. It’s human nature.
We’re eating right, exercising daily, fighting each battle of craving day after day, through stress and celebrations. We work through the hard stuff even working through the emotional battle of our weight, our insecurities, or why we turn to food when we’re stressed, or why you have an addictive nature. It’s hard work.
What do you gain? Victory, strength and a taste for freedom that was hard earned, and you aren’t going to throw all that hard work away on a donut. You know better.
This is a very simple comparison, but it applies to issues like addictions, marital problems, anxiety and depression, anger, unforgiveness, or financial problems. Anything that holds us back from complete freedom in Christ is a form of slavery. Slavery to debt, slavery to infidelity, slavery to abuse.
If you are willing, God wants to set you free, but He’s not going to give you the easy way out, though it be shorter.
He is going to lead you through the wilderness, straight into battle, so that when you face trials you won’t change your mind and return to your Egypt.
But it is worth it, God wants to lead you out, so he can lead you to a new beginning, and fulfilled dreams and promises.
Do you recognize an area in your life where you are stuck? You need freedom. Now is the time. Read through Exodus 13 & 14, where God leads the Isrealties out of their bondage. Make sure to comeback next week to find out Why all Hell breaks loose, when we try to break free.
Make Sure to Check out My YouTube Page where I share additional thoughts on this subject, in person!
Read past devotionals