Bible Notes #3–Exodus 13:17-18


“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 way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.  And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.”  Exodus 13:17-18  [ESV]

A Breeching Humpback Whale on Stellwagon Bank off Cape Cod; photo by Gary Chorpenning

I don’t remember noticing these verses before, though the idea is not new to me.  The time in the wilderness was to be a time of seasoning, a time of maturing.  The people needed to grow in their trust of God.  And their trust in God could only grow stronger through the experience of God’s trustworthiness.  That experience happens most especially through the act of obedience, which is, in a sense, the putting of God’s trustworthiness to the test.

The people eventually demonstrate that they need a great deal of seasoning, because upon their first approach to Canaan and the first serious prospect of real warfare, they very nearly do just what God says would do here in Exodus 13.  (see Numbers 13 & 14)

How can I become more seasoned in my life of living by faith?  How can I learn the trustworthiness of God?  Where in my life can I “put God to the test” through obedience and discover how trustworthy he is?

© 2010 Gary A. Chorpenning

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