detour in the wilderness

I receive an Elisabeth Elliot Devotional via email each day from Back to the Bible

Recently (April 13), she wrote about a detour in the wilderness:

When Pharaoh let the people go, "God did not guide them by the road towards the Philistines, though that way was the shortest.... God made them go round by way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea" (Ex 13: 17, 18 NEB).

The direct route would save time as well as wear and tear on the people, but God had something infinitely more important than economics in mind--He wanted the people to be able to sing the song of praise of chapter 15--"The Lord is my refuge and my deliverer. He is my God and I will glorify Him; He is my father's God and I will exalt Him" (Ex 15:2 NEB). They sang this song because they had firsthand experience of God's power and deliverance. Pursued by all the chariots and horses, cavalry and infantry of Egypt, they had passed through the Red Sea in safety and seen the enemy drowned. They would have missed this glorious lesson if they had taken the short road.

When we are puzzled by delays and detours, let us think about the great purpose of life: to glorify God. The lessons He wants to teach us "in the wilderness" are priceless means of providing us with a song we could not otherwise have sung: "In Thy constant love Thou hast led the people!" (Ex 15:13).

(emphasis mine)

To get her daily devotional in your email inbox, go here.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! It really spoke to my heart this morning.

  2. I too get the EE daily devotionals and have been greatly blessed by them. In fact, I blogged on this same devotional last week, along with the April 11, 15. These reminders of God being in control of difficult situations have greatly strengthened our faith through the personal trials we are currently going through these days.

  3. I love EE - such great inspiration. What nice words today and so true. I find I learn far more during the wilderness experiences.

  4. Hi Amanda! This was such a meaningful devotion to me - thanks for sharing it.


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