The story of the way in which God lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land is full of spiritual application for us today. I am thrilled when I read about the power and the glory of God that was so evident to the people. God’s desire and love is expressed in His words to Moses when, “And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 29:46).
One of the great lessons we see is the manner in which God lead them. First, God directed them by divine means in the cloud and the fire. God visibly showed Himself present among His people in these two ways. During the day a cloud rested above the tent of meeting in the midst of the camp as they traveled through the desert. At night it became a pillar of fire. Can you imagine just before slipping into your tent every night taking a look to see the glory of God in the fire? When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud stopped, they pitched their tents. God directly told them when to move and when to camp and for how long.
Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. Numbers 9:22
The second way God directed His people was through human means. The Lord directed Moses to make two silver trumpets and he was to use them for calling the congregation and directing the movement of the camps. In these cases God spoke to Moses, a human leader and then he directed for the trumpets to be blown. God was still directing His people but He was doing it through human instruments. The communication between God and man was crucial for the people to know the will of the Lord. Read of this tremendous example from Numbers 9:8-10 when some men who had been defiled asked if they could still keep the Lord’s Passover.
And Moses said to them, “Stand still, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.” Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the LORD’s Passover.’”
When I read this recently I wrote in the margin of my Bible, “Wow!” Moses heard from the Lord as needed that the people may know the Lord’s will and direction.
As New Testament believers we can still expect God to lead us. We are the objects of His loving care and personal leadership. We can expect Him at times to do so in divine ways where He sends a message directly from His hand. We can expect Him to speak to us through His word and by His Spirit. We can expect Him to speak to us through human leaders. And we can expect His presence and power to be manifest among us. We see examples of such manifestations in the New Testament and throughout church history. God is real. God is a personal God. And when we as His people make room for Him in our hearts through repentance and faith He will show Himself to us in powerful and personal ways.
Join me in praying for the manifest presence and power of God so that we once again may say, “Wow!”