When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, "If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army. (Exodus 13:17-18 NLT)
Question: What kind of a God would lead his people into a trap with no apparent way out? What kind of a God would send a bass boat up against a battleship? A kid on a tricycle up against a tank?
Answer: A God who wants to transform his people into warriors. Oh, they come out "armed for battle" all right. They are marching in army divisions. They think they can take on anyone in war. But, God leads them away from physical battle until they have time to deal with the enemies of the heart.
Their minds had to be changed.
They thought like slaves. In a moment's notice they were ready to bow down and cower to forces they knew well. They had to change their thinking and become warriors.
Their wills had to be changed.
They had weak wills. At the first sign of trouble they would be ready to drop God's will for them and adopt the culture's will around them if it meant an easier path.
Their hearts had to be changed.
They had fickle hearts. They had no real faith in God. As long as the exodus experiment was going smoothly, they were happy campers. But they were journeying with a faith that was hollow.
They were armed for battle, but becoming a warrior involves more than carrying a sword. So God leads them into a situation they cannot get out of without a total transformation.
Later, Moses told the people: "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14)
The people stood still. And when they did, they saw.
- They saw the angel of God move between the Israelites and the Egyptians.
- They saw Moses raise his staff.
- They saw God send a strong east wind that turned the water into dry land.
- They saw a way opened up by God for them.
Which is exactly what he has promised to do for you.
From Rick and Reg:
Contrary to popular opinion, God will put us in faith producing situations. He is much more concerned about our character than our comfort. He desires us to move past our fears and into the realm of faith. Throughout the Bible when people are told to not be afraid, there is something to be afraid about! But in each case, God is nearby and about to act on their behalf. The X-odus Files will help you face your fears and move towards faith.