Read Exodus 13
Focus on verse 21-22
Our dear old family dog is getting close to fourteen human years of age. I believe that translates to well over ninety in dog years. She has been a great dog for our family, our boys grew up with her and when they were younger she tried to herd them like sheep. As the boys grew up and have moved on she has become increasingly attached to me. At night she likes to sleep near out bed, in the day she finds a place to rest close to where I am – except for when she is asking to go out – so that she can ask to come in – so that she can ask to go out…so that she can ask to come in…anyone who has owned a dog that lives indoors knows exactly what I am describing. My point however, is that the older she gets the more she seems to desire to be in my presence.
I have found a similar trend in my own journey as I mature in my relationship with God. It seems that the older I get the more I sense and value His presence with me.
In today’s reading Moses describes how God initially led this multitude of people as they crossed the desert on their way to the Promised Land.
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. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. (v. 21-22)
“The Lord went before them by day and by night…as a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire” so that they could travel by day and by night. How awesome and almost dreamlike those first few weeks of freedom must have been like for the people. To look ahead to the front of the multitude and see the pillar… cloud by day – fire by night… always present… watching over His people. To know that in this cloud was the presence of the God who had all but destroyed their Egyptian task-masters and set them free. This awesome God was now going to lead them to a land of their own, a land that flowed with milk and honey. They were finally in a position where they could choose to live in the presence of the God who had rescued them from slavery, yet we soon discover how quickly they forgot.
How much more awesome it is for us to know that we now live in an age where we can choose to live with the Spirit of God within us if we will only invite Him to come in and fill us with His presence each day? Apparently humanity is rather consistent in this regard, as we also seem to find it very easy to forget that we have this option as well.