In Genesis 14, Abram rescues his kinsman Lot who has been captured by Chedorlaomer, king of Elam. Afterwards, Abram is blessed by Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God most high. Then in Genesis 15, God makes his covenant with Abram. He promises him a son and an abundance of offspring. But in the midst of it all, God says something very different.
“Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions,’” (Gen 15:13-14 ESV).
I grew up assuming bad things happen because I got out of God’s will. But here, the slavery of Egypt is mentioned in the original promise to Abram. This was part of His plan and for some reason, He wanted Abram to know about it from the beginning. God’s path was perfect but not easy. Israel spent multiple generations in Egypt, and yet here it is foretold as part of a plan. God doesn’t promise that our path will be easy, but it will be best. Our path is a small chapter in the grand story of His glory.