Making Hard Choices
Heavenly Father, may Your Holy Spirit teach me clearly today all that You want me to learn from Your Word.
Read Exodus 13:17-22
 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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow did God lead his people as they journeyed?
It must have been a strange moment. The pillar of cloud and fire that was leading the Israelites on the road towards Gaza and the Promised Land (17) suddenly heads south rather than northeast. The people were armed and ready for battle (18), and they had with them Joseph’s relics, which reminded them of his confident claim that God would come to their aid (19), but suddenly God is leading them a different way, seemingly away from freedom. Have you ever been puzzled by God’s leading, or felt a sensible path was suddenly thwarted? The Israelites don’t know it yet, of course, but perhaps God wanted them to experience a miracle, to take part in something so amazing that it would become the basis of their understanding of God forever. What if they had refused to go God’s way? Their history would have been forever different, and their understanding of God , poorer. Most of us think we’d like to experience miracles. But we fail to realize that miracles happen when we’re in dire situations, when our best plans and capacities are wanting. God does know what he’s doing, despite appearances!
Reaffirm your trust in God’s leading today. Tell God you trust that he knows what he’s doing.
Lord, I need faith to trust Your leading when it doesn’t make sense. I know You will never mislead me.
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