by Judy Webb
Have you ever taken a long trip to a place unknown to you? Have you set out on an adventure that would take you places you never imagined going? Did you have an itinerary mapped out for when you arrived? Some exciting vacations are like this; traveling to places far away that were never more than a dream until now.
The Israelites were on such a journey, only it was far from a vacation. Following a promise of life in a land of milk and honey, freedom was the carrot dangled in front of them. There was to be strife on the journey, but what a journey! Filled with miracles and challenges, the Israelites wandered for forty years; this of their own doing. But this is the stuff only the best stories contain! Traveling to destinations unfamiliar and taking roads not on any map, there was confusion for certain and one could easily become disoriented, turned around, and just plain lost if God wasn’t leading you.
"Day 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." (Exodus 13:21)
But God was leading them, despite their grumbling and doubts, He led them in miraculous ways. And this provision for His people was a constant standing miracle. (Matthew Henry) The pillar of cloud served as a guide as they moved forward and wide enough to serve as a shield from the intense desert heat. God dwelt with his people in the cloud. Shekinah is the Hebrew word for this cloud, and it means dwell.
The pillar of fire provided proved light so they might travel by day and night. Day and night He watched over them. “He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night.” (Psalm 105:39) One commentary said the pillars are another name for Angel of God.
God is good to us who are so undeserving of his love. Can you think of a time God interceded in such a big way that you knew for certain it was Him moving in your life? Have you ever felt His Divine Guidance?
God, give us a thankful heart, and give us eyes to recognize your movements in our lives. We know you are there for us, but sometimes we are blind. Open our eyes and hearts to know your love and to share it freely. Amen.