Walking in the Light of the Lord: Implications of the Pillar of Fire
Pr. Phinni Joseph
The History and theology of the People of Israel are intrinsically bound with the Exodus Event. Having done with the long years of servitude and turning those experiences to memorable history the exodus event points towards their journey towards freedom. The hope of the beautiful land prepared by God gave impetus for their journey. Exodus started by bringing God’s judgement upon the political structures that were hesitant to untie the cords of servitude upon the People of Israel. Moses the Prophet of par excellence, who spoke with God, face to face led them to the real taste of freedom and victory. The people experienced the sure protection of the blood of the Passover Lamb that was slain even before the foundation of the world. When the Lord gave back persecution to those persecuted, the shouts of joy and victory were heard from the dwellings of the Israel. When the first bones of the Egyptians became pieces of bones, the bones of His people testified to the visitation of the Lord. By all means God made the exodus possible without leaving anything back.
But the Journey that started with great enthusiasm and with the accompaniment of miracles turned to be difficult. He led them through the way of the wilderness instead of the way of the Philistines. The light of the scorching sun and the heat of the wilderness made the journey all the more difficult. The journey that would have been finished within ten days becomes too long for them. Inspite of these, the presence of the Lord accompanied them all through the journey. the powerful presence of the lord empowered them to go forward to the Promised Land (Ex.13: 21). The Lord was with them in the cloud for the day and in the pillar of fire in the night. The blessings they have enjoyed under His presence are marvellous.
1. The Empowering Presence
The Presence of the Lord revealed through the cloud and pillar of fire gave energy for the people needed for the journey. Though the paths that lord leads us be difficult, under His will, we can experience the strengthening power of the lord. The paths to the fulfilment of His promises need not to be easy, but when in the ways that lord leads He will accompany us with His empowering Presence.
2. Showing the Way
The people of Israel were treading the way unknown to them. In the paths unknown, when heading to the land unknown the Lord’s Presence showed them the way that they should go. The Lord shed light for them even in the thickest darkness of their journey. When travelling through the wilderness, there are possibilities for disorientation, without knowing which way to take. Hence, it was necessary that someone who knows the way should lead them till they reach their destiny. When the shadows of darkness cover our paths the presence of the lord leads us with light so that we can reach our destiny. The one who lightens the darkness shows us the way when darkness overwhelms in path of freedom and fulfilment of promises.
3. Continued Journey
The scripture says that the lord was moving with them in the pillar of cloud for the day and in the pillar of the fire for night, so that they may travel day and night. Even the day or night should not be a hindrance for the journey. The journey needs to continue. The Journey to the Promised Land is a continued one. Changes in time, space or even climate should not be a hindrance. There are times when personal visions or perspectives of future may not be clear or even times we may not be able to recognise the fellow travellers with us or their comforting words. Even then the journey should continue. The Light of His presence will lead us to destiny (Ps. 119:105).
4. Protective Covering
At a particular time the Pillar of fire that went before the people moved to the back. (Ex.14:19-20). It was when the Egyptians came close to them in the night, near Red Sea. The Lord kept the Egyptians away from the Israelites by giving them a protective covering with His presence. The Pillar of fire turned to be wall of fire around God’s people. Until the whole company of Israelites passed through the Red Sea the Lord kept them safe under the covering of His presence. The righteous people advance in His presence and the wicked stumble before his Glorious Presence. The Lord will protect all those who walk in His light. It is the sure hope of His people that the one who reveals in fire will keep a wall of fire around His chosen ones.
5. Leads the Battle
At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire looked down upon the Egyptian army causing them to panic. The lord who accompanied them in the Pillar of fire began to lead their battles. (Ex.14:24). When unexpected challenges and battle cries rages against His chosen ones the Lord who is might in battle will fight for them. The battle belongs to the lord. When enemies surround the people who advance to fulfil His promises, the Lord take charge of their battles. Never again will they see their enemies. The lord prepared a great salvation for them. The lord, who revealed himself in the pillar of fire, is the lord of hosts. He will ensure victory after victory on this journey.
The Lord who accompanies His people to the blessed Land empowers and guides them until they reach their destiny. The journey must continue irrespective of the circumstances and situations that they face. Not only that he protects them and lead them with victory until they inherit their promises. Thos who travel under His presence, those who walk in His light will surely inherit the Promised Canaan.