How do you handle it when life throws you a detour?
[Steve Myers] Just about the time you've got life figured out. everything seems to be in order. It's going your way, and suddenly, a detour. You've been there when you've been driving. You're driving along, and all of a sudden, there's a sign that says, "Detour ahead. Take a different way. Follow the signs." Life can be like that. Have you ever wondered why it seems to work out that way?
I ran across an interesting passage that's in the book of Exodus. I think that begins to give us some guidance when it comes to detours that we face in our life. Have we ever thought about God's hands in those situations where it seems like, "Well, this isn't where I want it to go? This isn't what I wanted to do. This isn't what I expected for life or what my decision was supposed to end up to bring." Well, in Exodus 13:17 Exodus 13:17And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
American King James Version×, we find the Israelites have just left Egypt. We know that story. But there's an interesting aspect in this particular verse that gives us some insight into God's perspective when it comes to those challenges in life. Here's what it says, "It came to pass when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines." Although that was near, or in other words, that way was the fastest way to the promised land. But God didn't take them that way. In a sense, it was a detour from the main highway. A verse later, it said, "God led the people around by the way of the Red Sea of the way, of the wilderness of the Red Sea." He led them around. Other translations say, "Roundabout, a winding way." The unexpected way would be really what God did.
Well, why did he do that? Why would God allow those types of things in our life and in this situation seems to purposely take them on a detour from what the main road would have led them? But I think this is what we find when we look at this particular story. God is going to use this roundabout way, this detour to protect the people. If you look at what it says in the end of verse 17, it says, "God says, "Perhaps the people would change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt."
So there was a problem that was ahead if they would have taken the main road. So God took them the roundabout way, a different way to help them, to protect them, because God was watching out for them, even though I'm sure people were saying, "Well, wait a second, shouldn't we be going on this main road? Shouldn't we be going that way?" But God took them a totally different way on this detour in their life to protect them.
We see another example of this in 2 Samuel. Second Samuel, we have the story of David. And in chapter 22:30, David says something interesting as he recognizes God's hand in taking him on a different path than he expected. And here's what David wrote about God. So, imagine God speaking. It says, "For by you, I can run against a troop." David knew with God's help, he could do anything. "By my God, I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the Lord has proven He is a shield to all who trust Him."
Oftentimes, in the Israelites' life and in David's life, they ended up on an unexpected path, a detour in their life. And yet, what did David learn? With God's help, the detour didn't matter. The detour was the better way to go. By taking this detour and following God's direction, they were protected.
So, next time in life, when you're on a path that's unexpected, be sure and turn to God in His direction, because it may just be, He's protecting you.
That's BT Daily. We'll see you next time.