Light of the World: Day Six
A Light for Israel
Read Exodus 13:17-22
This past summer I found myself in a situation where I had to drive from Arizona to California late at night and alone. I queued up a few audiobooks, gulped down some caffeine, and set off at 9pm knowing I wouldn’t reach home until about 2am. The drive from Bullhead City, AZ to Orange County, CA is filled with long stretches of highway that have no lighting. There were hours at a time that night where, were it not for the headlights of my car, I could have easily swerved off the road in the pitch darkness. But thanks to my headlights (and the Lord’s protection), I could see clearly in the darkness and was able to navigate my way home safely.
In Exodus 13 we read that after God delivered the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, he led them in a remarkable way. He led them by day in a pillar of cloud and at night, a pillar of fire. Rather than just tell Moses where to take the people, God himself directed and led the Israelites out of slavery.
Multiple times throughout the Old Testament, this miraculous event is referenced as psalmists and prophets alike recount the incredible works of the Lord. His compassion for his chosen people, his faithfulness to keep his covenant with Abraham, and his awesome might that is displayed throughout the book of Exodus are all reminders of the greatness of God and his worthiness to be praised. Psalm 105 is a great example of this as the psalmist begins by beckoning people to sing the praises of God by recounting his marvelous deeds for the nation of Israel.
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice…
He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light by night.
Psalm 105:1-3, 39
Just as God came down to speak to Moses from a burning bush, he once again chose to show his presence through fire (by night) and a cloud (by day) as he led the Israelites out of Egypt. It is estimated that there were 1-2 million Israelites that were led out of Egypt, which is pretty incredible to think considering when they arrived in Egypt, there was only 70 of them (Genesis 46:27). How incredible a sight that must have been to see such a large company of people trailing behind a pillar of cloud or a pillar of fire!
Just as my headlights helped me navigate safely home, God was leading his people out of the darkness of slavery to bring them safely to the Promised Land. On the way, he parts the Red Sea (Exodus 14), gives them manna (Exodus 16), brings forth water from a rock (Exodus 17:1-7), and defeats their enemies (Exodus 17:8-16). Yet all this would pale in comparison to what they would experience at Mount Sinai.
Action Point: Read Psalm 105 and take note of all the concepts and themes that we’ve learned throughout these last 6 days that show up in Psalm 105. What are some of the deeds and wondrous works you’ve seen God do in your own life? How can you glorify him by telling those around you of his wondrous works today?