Exodus 13:17-18 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.

God had made good His promise to free the Israelites from Egypt. They were leaving the land of bondage behind and well on their way to the Land of Promise. Looking at the map, it would take the Israelites less than two weeks to travel from Egypt to Canaan, but God did not lead them in the shortest route, He led them in the best route. The shortest route would take them through the land of the Philistines, fierce warriors whom the Israelites were not yet prepared to face. With the Egyptian army in pursuit, the shortest route would lead the Israelites into a trap between the Egyptians and Philistines. Instead, God led His people several miles to the east and to the Red Sea where He would decimate the Egyptian army while providing safe passage for the Israelites. Victory over the Philistines would have to wait for another day.

God sees what we do not see and knows what we do not know. For many years I have taken great solace in Psalm 37 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way” (v.23). If we can trust God to forgive and heal all sin and mistakes of our past, we can trust Him to direct us in our future. Ask the Lord to direct your steps, then trust His decisions.

Let’s sing: “Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.