Led By The LORD
Exodus 40:36-37 (ESV) -- Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up.
We are never left alone in this life. The Lord leads our lives. He leads them with divine providences, promptings of the heart, clear direction from His Word, and other means. We are never left to ourselves. God is graciously moving us where He wants us in life to accomplish His purposes and plans.
Our passage today shows us the meticulous way that the LORD led Israel. We read in Exodus, “Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up.”
The people of Israel were fresh out of enslavement. They spent their entire lives as slaves to the Egyptians in hard labor. The favor Joseph’s family once possessed in the land was gone. But God rescued them and led them out into the wilderness. Though many undoubtedly forgot the LORD or believed He had forgotten them, here they were. Free. Led by the LORD Himself.
The Scriptures say God led them with a cloud. God obviously isn’t a cloud, but this physical manifestation gave Israel eyes to the nearness of the LORD to them. If the cloud did not lift from the tabernacle, then they didn’t leave. It was a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. This picture is a wonderful portrayal of the faithfulness of God to lead His people. He still leads us today. The LORD doesn’t use clouds or fire today, but something much more near, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God lives with all Christians to guide us. Sure, it would have been awesome to see the cloud moving and know it was the LORD guiding you. But the people in the wilderness would rather have had what we possess: God in us.
Ask the LORD to lead you by His Spirit today. Thank Him for His guidance and wisdom He provides when we seek Him for it. We cannot afford to set out without Him each day.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is the cloud leading Israel in the wilderness significant for them?
- How does God lead His people today?
- Why is it important to walk in step with the Lord’s leading in our lives?
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