God's Divine Detours
"And 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: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt." (Exodus 13:17-18)
No driver enjoys having to take a detour, but there is usually a very good reason for it, and we accept it with little question. A divinely prescribed detour in our personal goals, however, often becomes a focus of complaint and discouragement. Detours and delays of one sort or another occur in the life of every Christian, but they are always for good reason. Remember Christ taught that when we have "been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things" (Matthew 25:21). Trials and detours prepare us for greater responsibility and blessing.
The experience of the children of Israel is a prime example. What started as a detour of perhaps 100 miles developed into a delay of 40 years before they were actually prepared to enter the Promised Land. A mob of slaves--carnal and fearful, selfish and complaining, critical and greedy, worldly and idolatrous--somehow had to become a nation of responsible citizens--disciplined and courageous, industrious and law-abiding, God-fearing and spiritual. This transformation required time and chastening and miraculous guidance, but it was all for their ultimate good and for God’s glory.
What God does with His own is by definition right, and we’ll understand it better later on. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11). HMM
h/t: Henry M Morris, Institute For Creation Research