The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22
I was riding my favorite horse at my uncle’s farm one warm spring evening. The crops had not yet been planted, leaving wide-open, unfenced fields available for my riding pleasure. The mare, pleased to be getting away from the confines of her pasture, quickly settled into the beautiful running walk characteristic of her breed. We headed cross-country covering ground fast, exploring new territory and paying little attention to the sinking sun. When it occurred to me that perhaps I should be heading back, darkness had already settled around me. A bit of panic set in; it seemed very dark to this city girl accustomed to house lights, streetlights, Christmas lights, downtown lights and even stop lights! After a few deep breaths, I noticed that there was a good amount of moonlight and what is more my horse (designed by the Creator with excellent night vision) had barely slowed her pace. I pointed her towards home and enjoyed my first night ride.
My mind wanders to a similar (well, sort of) experience recorded in Exodus. I picture the Israelites as they flee from the Egyptians. I imagine the logistics of moving all those people. I think of the geography; they were not just in the middle of a field as I had been, they were in the middle of nowhere! It would be challenging enough in the day to move them and impossible to produce enough lamps to light the way at night. But, God saw this and gave the people light, practically removing natural earthly restrictions. Exodus 13:21-22 tells me that God led the people both by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. Thus, the Israelites were enabled to travel at anytime.
What a reminder of how necessary light is and how much I take the presence of light for granted. God is revealed as light and perhaps I have missed the full impact of God as light. In this example, I am reminded that God knows and provides for even my most elemental needs. God’s provision of light and his constant presence with the Israelites reveals his nature and causes me to understand that his light is available to lead me too. Join me as I learn more about how God is light in my life and how his light, lights the world around me.
Prayer: Lord God, I am grateful that you revealed your light to me and to the world. May the light I see around me, remind me not to take your light for granted. Help me to become a light that shines for you.
Recommended reading: As we have seen, one of the specific functions of God’s light is to lead. Explore God’s word to discover other ways God is revealed as light. A good help here is City On A Hill: Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21 Century, by Philip Graham Ryken.
Contributed by Daryl Ginter