This morning, I was led to read this part of Scripture:
Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. ~ Exodus 40:36-38 (ESV)
And later on, looking back, Moses said this:
"...you did not believe the Lord your God, who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night and in the cloud by day, to show you by what way you should go." ~ Deuteronomy 1:32b-33 (ESV)
During this pandemic season, the whole world is groaning with unspeakable words. We went through a lot roller coaster emotionally and mentally. One thing that probably is also in the hearts and minds of a lot people is a sense of divine guidance. Where is God? What is He doing?
When we set out to come to Australia 3.5 years ago, I was asked how do I know that God wants us to come here? And figuratively, I answered,”when I see the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.”
Life is full of mystery. Often times we want to have a peep behind the scene. But learning from Israel’s journey of 40 years in the wilderness, I think it’s apt to say that life is lived forward but understood backward. We don’t always understand where is God in the midst of chaos and what He is doing in the midst of the daily living. But one day, looking back, we would understand why things happened the way they were.
And I like these words that Moses spoke in the whole context:
… and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’Deu 1:31 (ESV)
How a man carries his son, so the Lord carried the whole nation of Israel, all the way, until the place they were.
The same God also is still at work today. He is the One who carries us, all the way, until the place He wants us to be.