Exodus 13:17-18 | “When the king of Egypt let the people go, God did not take them by the road that goes up the coast to Philistia, although it was the shortest way. God thought, ‘I do not want the people to change their minds and return to Egypt when they see that they are going to have to fight.’ Instead, he led them in a roundabout way through the desert toward the Red Sea.
God wanted the Israelites to commit. To commit to the fight. Not just with the Egyptians who were now chasing them. But their own fight. The one that would be happening inside themselves. Because God knew, at the first sign of trouble, they would want to give up. “Maybe freedom isn’t so great! It was better being slaves! We would rather be slaves and alive, then free and dead!”
They needed time to taste the sweetness of freedom. The shortest, quickest route would not do. They needed time to remember all that God has done. Time to remember all that God is bringing them to. Time to learn how to live as new, free people. The journey takes time and God wanted to make sure they couldn’t turn back.
Turns out they needed a lot of time.
And God was with them the whole way. Leading them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God the King was in the midst of his ragtag battalion.
And then Moses says something so powerful it blows my mind. So much so that it may take me 40 years of wandering in the desert wilderness to really get it. “The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”
God wants you to experience freedom and God is doing all he can to bring you to freedom. All you have to do is keep still. Pay attention to what God is doing. And take a step into it. Doing is actually being. Doing is being one who is on a journey. Doing is being one who God is working on and in. The doing is up to God so that you may be the person God is leading you to be.
And it takes time. Don’t turn back. “The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”