The Sovereignty of God

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 14: The Scenic Route

Day One Exodus 13:17-18, 14:1-6

17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle. . . 14 Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses: 2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told. 5 When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. – Exodus 13:17-18, 14:1-6 (NLT)

1. Why does God lead the Israelites out of Egypt “in a roundabout way” (verse 13:17)?
2. Who changes his mind instead and why (verse 14:5)?
3. What end goal does God already have planned (verse 14:4)?

The sovereignty of God is clear throughout this entire story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land. God knows His children might change their minds and want to return to slavery if the journey gets too hard for them. He knows what Pharaoh is going to think after the Israelite departure. He knows the exact instructions to give to Moses for the route they should take. He knows and has a plan for all of it. Do you trust that God knows and has a plan for your life too? Are you often tempted to bail on it when the road gets difficult? Ask God to help you surrender to His plan, trusting that it is good and all for His glory.

For Further Reading: When Pharaoh’s Heart Grew Harder

For Families with Kids at Home
God always has a plan! In this story, we see that God knew what He was doing, even if the Israelites didn’t understand what was going on. Ask your kids, “Are there times when things feel a bit out of control?” Emphasize that God is always in control, even when things feel out of control!

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

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