The Long Way
Exodus 13:17-18 ESV
First of all I couldn't even imagine what it must of been like to have seen God do all that He did to bring about Israel's deliverance. Then after years of slavery and bondage Israel is free. Think about it 400 years living in captivity. Generations were born and raised in these conditions. I can only imagine the mindset and baggage those kind of conditions would produce. It reminds of a scene from the movie "Shawshank Redemption." The prison librarian, after years of imprisonment, is freed. Once free, he tries to overcome the baggage of his incarceration. His new found freedom would become the stool from which to hang himself. He just could not handle life outside of prison because he had become so accustomed to a life of confinement. In all actuality he was more free behind bars than he was with no bars.
He was only imprisoned for a short time compared to the length of time the Israelites were enslaved. I wonder if God's reasoning to take the long way around the wilderness rather than a short journey to their destiny was to deliver them from a bondage mindset? If God had taken the shorter route and Israel had to face opposition chances are the mindset that was formed under oppression and bondage would have led to miserable defeat. So, rather taking what would seem to be the quickest road to freedom God takes them the long way. Why? My guess is that God knew He would have to lead them this way to workout and deliver them from a prison mentality cultivated by generations of slavery and bondage.
My take away: First of all I prefer taking shortcuts so I can get to my destinations. I race against time to beat past times or others traveling with me. Ok, that's probably something right there that I need to be delivered from fast. Not only that I really don't like the pain of admitting my faults or dealing with my own mindsets that keep me imprisoned to my old man.
So, today I'm thankful for the journey and the potential to become the man of God He created me to become.