By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
When I came across this passage, I was in a season of numbness. Things weren’t awful, but they weren’t great either. They were just… dull. Living in a season of routine, I wasn’t sure what to seek God about and His voice felt muffled.
I was in a daytime. Nothing special was going on in or around me. It all felt so ordinary…
Clouds can seem fairly ordinary too, you know? I mean, compared to a pillar of fire at night, clouds are really common. They’re around most every day. But God was in this ordinary thing, guiding the Israelites. And they followed day by day, trusting God’s leading.
That same cloud that they moved after later became a barrier of protection, shielding them from the Egyptians. While the cloud caused shadowed confusion for Egypt’s chariots, the Israelites walked in the light.
Sometimes chasing after God can seem quieter. It’s the non-glamorous practices of devotion we give, seeking Him out in the daylight. But even this has great power. When the enemy comes, the cloud is a defense that is familiar and built strong by the Spirit.
At night, God is good to bring us His needed glory and burning-light, but He’s waiting for us to seek Him in the day, too. And no matter the time of day, God is faithful, guiding us with His ever-present Love.
Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling