READ : Exodus 13:17-22
The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day . . . and in a pillar of fire by night. (v. 21)
Wouldn’t it be helpful to have guidance today like that which God gave to his people on their exodus journey – visible, supernatural, unmistakable, and available 24/7!
The pillar had appeared when the Israelite companies first set out, protecting them from Pharaoh’s army. It had led them to the Red Sea. It would guide them to the crucial encounter with God at Mount Sinai, and would then keep them wandering round the wilderness for another 40 years until God’s time was right for the entry into Canaan – and probably until they were as sick of this supernatural guidance as they were of the manna, and the leadership of Moses, and every other blessing with which God was testing them.
We don’t have the pillar. But we do have the thing that it signified. In his hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,“ John Newton calls it “a glory and a covering, showing that the Lord is near“ (emphasis added). It is while we keep close to him (he is always close to us!) that we find ourselves going his way, even when he seems to be leaving decisions to us.
Lord, keep us walking closely with you.