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. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people (Exodus 13:21-22).
We begin the New Year 2020 by considering and deference to the pillar of fire which provided light so that the Israelites could travel by night during the Exodus from Egypt. During the night it gave light and, no doubt, comfort. The combination with the pillar of cloud meant that the Children of Israel could travel by day or night – no matter the changing circumstances of travel. Throughout the Israelite's travel in the desert the almighty God used this pillar of fire and cloud to lead his people and to remind them of his presence. In addition to guidance for the Israelites, the pillar was a testimony to other nations concerning God’s involvement with and protection of His people.
It is instructive from our lead Bible verses that neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. The pillar thus becomes a picture of God’s faithfulness and a lesson to us that God never leaves nor forsakes His people (like we are reminded in Hebrews 13:5-6). Furthermore, when the pillar of God moved forward, the people of Israel would pack up their camp and follow behind it. Similarly, when the pillar of God's presence stopped, the Israelites would set up camp underneath it.
In beginning with the theme of Pillar of Fire, it is our earnest desire and prayer that God's presence will be visibly in the centre of all we do in Living Water Parish throughout Year 2020.
Pastors Marcus & Norah Chilaka