When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, they saw many miracles of God’s presence. In Exodus 13:21-22, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.”
Here were a very large group of people who really did not know God in the way that He wanted them to know him. They looked to Moses and to Aaron to guide them in an adventure that was unknown to most of them. We know that these pillars of cloud and fire were the physical manifestations of God’s presence. But the people had not known a God who could show himself in these ways before.
The first encounter with the enemy was the army of Pharaoh in all of their might. All of a sudden the people found themselves between two mountains and the sea in front, no place to go except to the grave!
Moses was in a tight spot. The first thing he did was to tell them not to be afraid and believe that God really would help them and will take care of them. Exodus 14:13-14 “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.”
We know the story of how Moses stretched out his rod and God parted the sea so that ALL the people could go through the path without harm. God told them that He would take care of them and that all would know that HE does exist.
Exodus 14:19-20 “And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel . Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other all that night.”
The pillars were manifestations of God’s guiding presence.
Even later on in their journeys it was said that when Moses went into a tent chosen and a place to seek God, even before the tabernacle was designed in the wilderness, it was said that the Pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door until Moses was through with his audience with God.
When Moses finished the tabernacle in the wilderness it was said in
Exodus 40:34-38 “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
Sometimes we look back and think: well if it was me….I would have obeyed without questions. Would we really? Here we are when we become “born again” Christians and we start out from our own journey from the “land of Egypt”. We start forward on a new adventure, a lasting one, with the Lord Jesus Christ who is our savior and our guide in this life. He is the One who has promised to always be with us and never to leave us. He gave us the Holy Spirit to teach us and to show us the way to ive and walk until the day Jesus comes back we exchange these bodies for a heavenly body at our home going.
The children of Israel had to learn just as we do, they learned by their wilderness wonderings to trust in a God whom they had never before known. Until they started on their journey under the blood of the Lamb on their doorpost. Similar to how we start out by the blood of God’s Lamb, Jesus Christ, applied to our hearts, keeping the “death angel” away from the door of our lives.
As we begin this journey, we see Christ deliver us from all of the influences of our past life, just like God did for the children of Israel when he delivered them from Egypt, Egypt’s influences upon their lives.
Oh but now, we have the assurance of Deliverance and a God who really is real and has promised to be with us and not only protect us, but lead us and guide us. Upon our lives He is a great cloud of love and protection that hovers over us to show us the way we should go and also keeps us from our enemies.
Be encouraged dear one, in Matthew 24:30 is the promise in Jesus’s own words, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven , and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”