Scripture: Exodus 40: 34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; 37 but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.
Observation: God was leading the people to the Promised Land, promising to be with them all the way. It wasn’t hard for the people to know when it was time to stay in a certain place or move to another. All they had to do was follow the pillar of cloud by day or fire by night.
Application: “Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. And if I stay it will be double.” Classic lyrics from “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by the rock band “The Clash” – great band, and a great song. But in all seriousness, this is an important question I’ve asked myself many times over the years. Should I stay… in a relationship? With an employer? In a particular city? In a particular home? The list of variations is long. And the truth is, answering this kind of question is not easy because the answer is not always obvious. God’s people, back in Moses’ day, did not have to worry about this sort of ambiguity, but we do. Yet, we are not left without guidance from the Lord.
We don’t have a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night – but we do have the gift of the Holy Spirit – which is a huge deal. We don’t have to look outside of ourselves because the voice of God speaks on the inside. We don’t have to solely rely on reason, or logic, or opinions of others to give us direction. In fact, the first place to go for guidance is to the Lord. We would do well to remember this.
Prayer: Gracious God, lead your children today as you did way back when. And give us grace to seek your guidance in the first place. Amen.