KEY POINT from Sarah:

Remember, God didn’t take the Israelites the direct route. He took them through the wilderness.  Why?  Why did they have to experience so much disappointment?

Well, the first reason is: God protects us from the unknown

God sees the bigger picture.  Exodus 13:17 explains that the other route to Canaan was the way of the land of the Philistines:

Exodus 13:17-22 (NIV)

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[a] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”[b]

20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

God uses the wilderness not only as a route to the promised land but to protect them.  The faster route would have been much, much worse.

He sees the bigger picture, He is all knowing, all powerful, He wants them in the Promised Land, but He knows that taking the quickest route will cause the Israelites more pain and more disappointment. To get to where God wants them to be – to the Promised Land – the safest route is through the wilderness.

SUM UP from Rachel:

Why does God allow us to go through disappointment? God protects us from the unknown.

Why else do you think God allows us to go through disappointment? See you back here tomorrow for reason number 2!

Also, have you been thinking about yesterday’s question?  Is it better just to reduce our expectations in order to avoid disappointment?  When it comes to expecting an advert-worthy response to the announcement that: ‘Yes! We can go to Disneyland Paris!’, my experience makes me say, definitely! We tried that whole hyped thing and the response from my then three-year-old was: ‘can you read me this book now?’  Why did we even think she would know what Disneyland was?!  No need to send that very disappointing video to the Disneyland advert producers then!  But in terms of other expectations we have about life and our futures, I am not so sure.   Faith and expectation seem to go hand in hand… what do you think?

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