The Way Through the Wilderness - Exodus 13

The Way Through the Wilderness

Exodus 13:1-22

Free at last!  After four hundred and thirty years of Egyptian bondage, the children of Israel were redeemed.  They were on their way to Canaan, the land of promise.  The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  The major trade route from Egypt to Canaan was by what was known as "the way of the Philistines."  This well-traveled highway would lead them directly east, then northeast. 

But the short way is not always the best way.  "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.'"  Exodus 13:17.  They had just departed from a land of the dead.  The people weren't ready to do battle with the mighty Philistines. 

"So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea."  Instead of traveling east, they went south.  It's interesting that "the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt."  They followed the Leader.  When Pharaoh learned of their whereabouts, he said, "They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in."  He didn't realize that the Lord knows the way through the wilderness, and where there is no way He makes a way.

"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night."  What a comforting sight!  As long as they saw the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire they knew that God was with them, leading the way.  Day and night!  The psalmist wrote, "Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."  Psalm 121:4.  The Lord provided guidance twenty-four hours a day.  "He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people."  Exodus 13:21, 22.  His presence was a permanent presence.

God's people who were delivered needed direction.  Today we also need daily guidance in our walk with the Lord.  There aren't any shortcuts in the Christian life.  We don't have a pillar of cloud to lead us in the day, or a pillar of fire at night.  But we do have the word of God.  "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  Psalm 119:105.  Let the word of God dwell in you richly.  It will never lead you astray. 

Besides this, we have the encouraging promise of Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."  He'll lead you through the wilderness.


Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over us.  We have come to You through the Son, and desire to be followers of Christ.  Give us understanding in our walk with You.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


How to Cross the Red Sea - Exodus 14


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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