THE CLOUD AND THE PILLAR OF FIRE
Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
After coming back down from Mt Sinai with the two tablets, Moses gave the Israelites commands that the Lord had given him regarding the Sabbath and the construction of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was like a mobile temple where the glory of the Lord would later settle, once the work had been completed. Through the Tabernacle, the Lord made His dwelling among the Israelites.
After Moses inspected the finished work of the craftsmen and skilled workers headed by Bezalel and Oholiab, he blessed them after seeing that they did just as the Lord commanded. After setting up the Tabernacle and all its furnishings, the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and God’s glory filled the tabernacle.
In Exodus 34:10-11, the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites that He would do wonders and drive out other nations as they made their way towards the Promised Land. The Israelites’ journey was guided by the cloud—when it lifted above the tabernacle, they would set out. If the cloud did not lift, they would not set out until the day it lifted. Sometimes the cloud would not lift for days, weeks, and months. This taught the Israelites to stay put and trust the Lord for He knew beforehand what they were to face—was the climate too extreme for them? Were there enemies in the way that He still had to drive out?
In the same way, the Lord makes His dwelling among us through the Holy Spirit. When we receive Jesus as our Personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit lives in us and transforms us to become more like Christ each day. It is also the Holy Spirit that guides us as we study the Bible and helps us to apply the principles in our lives.
Through this I have learned that He allows us to use our free will but He is extremely pleased when we seek His guidance. When we pursue something and find out that it is not His will for us, we have two choices:
To submit to Him and obey OR
To persist in our ways and prepare to face the consequences of our decision
In the same way, the Israelites had the free will to go on forward in their journey even if the cloud had set over the tabernacle. They chose to obey the Lord and allowed the cloud to guide them as they traveled and set up camp, traveled again, set up camp and so on.
The Holy Spirit makes His dwelling among us believers. The Holy Spirit is our guide. The Holy Spirit helps us make decisions based on what is pleasing to the Lord.
In life, we will come across a lot of situations wherein we have to stay put and not move forward until God tells us to do so.
What season are you in right now? Are you beginning to get impatient and are thinking of taking the reins? Will you persist in your own way or will you submit to God and obey?