An amazing thing that Israel experienced as they left Egypt was God’s very physical leading of the people. He led as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Those pillars never left Israel. Each day as they moved through the desert there was no doubt that God was with the Israelites. God knew he had to ease Israel into being a free people. He led them away from the Philistines toward the Red Sea. While they were ready for war, God knew fighting the Philistines would cause the Israelites to want to retreat back to Egypt.
God also knew that the Exodus was going to be a difficult journey. Moses would need to see God’s hand in each part. God did not mind making His presence known and as the world would see God’s protection for Israel would be complete. For the start, however, God would make sure Israel was armed for battle and could travel by day or by night. That was important for them to see and for the world to see as well.
God sent the Holy Spirit to be our pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.
If we allow, God’s Spirit will lead us, teach us, and comfort us through the journey. We can rely on God’s spirit to transform us into a free people as well. We like Israel, need to ready for battle. This is a spiritual war. We can be confident, that he who calls us is faithful and He will do it. We only need to follow God’s lead–just like Israel.
God Bless You
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph[a] had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” 20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.