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Volume 13 - Page 30 of 159 Index | Zoom | |
presence, just as real, will be manifest in another way. Whatever the mode of
manifestation, the Lord's personal presence is the blessed fact.
3. Leading is a part of redemption.
"HE TOOK NOT AWAY the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night,
from before the people" (Exod. 13: 22).
Israel many, many times failed, so grievously indeed that many forfeited the land of
promise and perished in the wilderness; nevertheless, the pillar of cloud went before
them. This is the closing testimony of the book of Exodus. Coming where it does in the
book (Exod. 40: 34-38) it reveals the reason why the presence of the Lord manifested in
the pillar of cloud could remain. Exod. 40: speaks of the setting up of the tabernacle, and
Lev. 16: 2 says:--
"I will appear (or, I am wont to appear) in the cloud upon the mercy seat."
Num. 9: 15-23 speaking of the same event says:--
"And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle,
namely, the tent of testimony; and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the
appearance of fire until the morning, SO IT WAS ALWAYS."
Notice the way in whish this closing statement of Exodus is introduced:--
"So Moses FINISHED the work. THEN a cloud covered the tent" (Exod. 40: 33, 34).
The Lord's leading is one of the results of the Lord's redemption, one of the fruits of a
finished work. The Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, as the risen One
leads them in green pastures for His name's sake.
4. The pillar of cloud regulated all Israel's journeyings.
"When the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, THEN AFTER THAT the
children of Israel journeyed: and IN THE PLACE where the cloud abode, THERE the
children of Israel pitched their tents" (Numb. 9: 17).
The time when and the place where is decided alone by the Lord. Further, we read,
"whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed". The
Lord's leading did not always conform to custom, nor to convenience, but day or night
Israel had to be prepared to follow. "Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year"
that the cloud tarried, there in unquestioning obedience Israel had to remain
(Num. 9: 15-23). What a blessed condition to be in, led by the Lord! By day or by
night, to Elim with its palm trees and wells, or on into the desert, all is well if we are led
by the Lord.
"And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty
years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine
heart" (Deut. 8: 2).
"Lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies" (Psa. 27: 11).