Follow Day by Day

Key Verse: “The cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
—Exodus 40:38

Selected Scriptures:
Exodus 40:34-38;
Numbers 9:15-19, 22, 23

THE NATION OF ISRAEL HAD been especially blessed by God, as evidenced by the cloud which led them by day, and the pillar of fire which led them by night. This remarkable demonstration of God’s power on behalf of his chosen people serves to illustrate his providential care for them in all their sojourns.

These miracles of the Lord were associated with the Tabernacle and its various arrangements, where God, through their great leader, Moses, directed his people. When the cloud moved, they knew that the time had come for them to move also. When it stopped, they stopped, and set up their camp on the new location. They remained there until they had an indication that it was time for them to start out again.

The glorious presence of God was always with the Israelites as illustrated by the cloud in our lesson. We read: “A cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exod. 40:34,35) The Tabernacle, sometimes called the ‘tent of the congregation,’ was the center of Jewish religious life. The children of Israel did not meet there as a congregation, but it was the distinct and holy place where God dwelt with his people.

God’s presence was also with the Israelites during the nighttime, as shown by the pillar of fire. We further read, “On the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.” (Num 9:15,16) In this way the children of Israel were especially blessed with a continual manifestation of God’s protection over them.

The nation of Israel, along with its Tabernacle rituals and arrangements, serves as a typical reminder that God has been caring for and protecting his people throughout the present Gospel Age. He has taken up his abode with those Christians who have been enlightened with the truth, and have responded to the invitation to follow his leadings.

The Apostle addresses this in his first letter to the church at Corinth. He says: “Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”—I Cor. 10:1-4

The invitation to walk with our Lord during this time has been a special blessing to those who have responded to the call. Having received a measure of the Holy Spirit, we recognize God’s providence in our lives. We follow him wherever he may lead, even as the children of Israel followed the cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. The eventual goal for Israel was to reach Canaan. Our goal is heavenly Canaan.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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