Following the Pillar of Cloud by Day, the
Pillar of Fire by Night.
When the people of Israel were led out of Egypt on the
night of the eating of the lamb sacrifice, it was under the pillar of fire by
night and the pillar of cloud by day.
Exo 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 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: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Though Moses was God’s prophet, He led His people directly by the movement of the pillar of Cloud by day, and the pillar of Fire by night. The prophet spoke the instructions of God, but the cloud was their guide. When the cloud moved, the people moved. Every person among them could see the cloud for themselves.
In the same way, the children of the kingdom today are led by the Holy Spirit, Who has been sent to lead us into all truth, from the first moment we believe on Jesus, the Christ. Even that first believing is through the Holy Spirit revealing Christ to us.
An interesting and instructional episode occurs when the 12 spies return and persuade the people that they are not up to the task of taking the land from its present inhabitants. The people ignore the pleadings of Joshua (Jesus) and Caleb, and refuse to go in to the land. The cloud does not move. The Holy Spirit will not lead people where they will not go. (The Holy Spirit whom God gives to those who obey Him.)
Later they reconsider, having been told by the prophet, Moses, that because of their disobedience they would never enter the land. But they go in. And get defeated. But the cloud has not moved. They took no notice of the clearly visible cloud and thought they could do ‘the right thing’ anyway.
We who have been born from above, of the Holy Spirit, have been given the Spirit, the mind of the Christ. To those, He is as unmistakable as a pillar of cloud by day or a pillar of fire by night.
But He will not lead us where we will not follow. Nor will He come along with us, when we go ahead of Him. What a privilege and a responsibility to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Many will question the reality of being led by the Spirit, ie. those who do not perceive Him.
Such lack one thing, to believe on Jesus the Christ, and to ask Him to give them the Holy Spirit.
This is why Jesus, our sacrificial Lamb, was slain and raised from the dead, that we who believe might walk (travel, move) in newness of Life through the same Spirit that quickened Jesus.
So will we be the Sons of God and follow our Saviour, Jesus, who always leads us into triumphs.
Colin Thompson. Gateshead. England. (Nobody important.)
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