Exodus 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the time the Israelites wandered in the wilderness on their way to the promised land. Forty years worth of lessons, in fact. I’d like to discuss all of them, but that might actually take me 40 years to do. Instead I’m going to focus on five of them. Five lessons that the Israelites may or may not have learned as they wandered and that you and I can learn in our own lives.
One thing that’s hard to comprehend about God is His timing and His methods. We ask for a sum of money right now and He gives us a lesson in patience and humility as we wait for His timing. We plead for someone’s life to be saved and He seemingly doesn’t answer that prayer. The ways of God don’t always make sense. Sometimes His methods seem strange to us, but He comes through. Sometimes the timing seems wrong, but it’s never wrong. He gives just the right things, whether they make sense or not, at just the right time.
There are some crazy things in the story of the Israelites, like water coming from a rock, a sea parting to cross through it, a snake on a pole to heal the people… but I’ll bet you can think of some strange things in your life that were actually God providing. What may seem like a dead end can actually be a chance for God to showcase His glory. When you think you’ve hit an obstacle, you may just find that God led you to that place with a purpose. It may be that He’s about to provide you with just the right thing at just the right time.
We don’t know how things are going to turn out, but God does. His timing is never off.