Thursday Reflection – September 19, 2019
God goes before you
“The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and a pillar of fire by night, to give them light. Exodus 13:21
What does it mean to have God go before you? The children of Israel were now free from the tyranny of Pharaoh. After moving to Egypt four hundred (400) years ago and being enslaved, the Israelites were now free to go with Moses and enter the promises of God. As they entered the wilderness they were guided by God in the form of a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. We are told that the Lord went ahead of them.
What did this mean for the Israelites? It meant there was physical evidence of God’s presence amongst them. But it also goes deeper than that. The passage tells us that the cloud guided by day and the fire provided light at night. This is significant, because the children of Israel were on a journey they had never taken before. This was new for them. Furthermore, they were going through the wilderness; a place of barrenness. It was not built up cities were they could take shelter or hide from the elements. It was a journey of uncertainty, risks, danger and fear.
God knew all of this and therefore, reinforced his presence with a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. How reassuring is it to know that God is leading you in the wilderness. The smoke offered them guidance. It showed them the path to take. It also signified that God already cleared the path for them to take. We know the wilderness have its own form of danger such as scorpions, wild animals, rattle snakes etc. and we know that the children were not exempt from these dangers. Despite this the dangers of the wilderness could not harm them, because they were being GUIDED BY GOD. When we are guided by God we have nothing to worry about.
Not only were they guided by God, but they were provided light at night. I can just imagine the wilderness at night. No street lights, pitch black if there isn’t a full moon, scary, and cold. God provided them with a pillar of fire to help counter the darkness. It also provided warmth for them during the cold nights. In essence in dark times God provided light. How reassuring is it to know that in the darkness of the wilderness God is before you providing light. This light helps us to see in dark times. When situations become cloudy in our lives, Jesus gives us that light that is needed to remind us of God’s presence.
We need to open our eyes to God going before us. We do not have a pillar of smoke and fire to guide and light the way, but what we have is far better. We have Jesus that gives us light and the Holy Spirit that guides us. In the dark times we can call upon Jesus and in the day time we have the Holy Spirit leading us. Look for the signs of God going before you. They are there as a reminder that you are not alone.
Until next week remember God is already ahead of you on your journey.