“And the Lord went before them — by day in a pillar of a cloud — to lead them the way. And, by night in a pillar of fire — to give them light; to go by day and night. (22) He took not away — the pillar of the cloud by day — nor the pillar of fire by night — from before the people!” Ex.13:21-22
The occasion that this text refers to is the very first time that the children of Israel saw the mighty way in which — the delivering Lord God — was going to manifest His presence in guiding and protecting them. This divine phenomena showed up — right when they come to the Red Sea. It led them there — and then protected them from their enemies till they crossed through it on dry ground! It continued to lead them on — throughout their 40 year wilderness journey. In fact, every place that they put up the Tabernacle — this manifestation of God’s preserving presence showed up.
We see a wonderful parallel between the constant presence of the pillar and the prevalent place that the Word of God comes to have in the lives of all His true children. The Holy Spirit uses it to lead us through each day as well. We find from God’s written word — the path of salvation and of life and peace and strength and hope. From it we receive much encouragement and eternal assurance — that God is sovereign and in complete and total control — of all things — at all times!
Like the pillar that provided its guidance and protection during the daytime — every time they were to move from one place to another — even so does the Word of God bless us with that wisdom which is from above — and that Godly instruction so that we can know the way wherein we are to walk. And, then there’s the night — and there are many dark nights in the life of child of God as they traverse this worldly wilderness — that same pillar of cloud suddenly becomes a pillar of fire! Fire to light the way — and at the same time — to ward off the enemy. Fire to gloriously contrast the times of darkness that we must often go through.
Is.4:5-6 alludes to this when God says from there: “And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion — and upon her assemblies — a cloud and smoke by day — and the shining of a flame fire by night — for upon all the glory shall be a defense. (6) And there shall be a tabernacle — for a shadow in the daytime from the heat — and for a place of refuge and for a covert from storm and from rain.”
We learn from this — that it is the Lord, Himself, who is our guiding pillar of cloud by day — and our protecting pillar of fire by night! Like the line of the hymn says: “The Lord’s our Rock — in Him we hide — a shelter in the time of storm!” Jn.1:14 very appropriately tells us: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt [or, literally: “tabernacled”] among us — and we beheld His glory — the glory as of the only begotten of the Father — full of grace and truth!” Praise the eternal and incarnated Son of God — the Lord Jesus Christ!
For Christ’s Glory Only!