He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. Psalm 105:39.
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light.” … The standard of their invisible Leader was ever with them. By day the cloud directed their journeyings or spread as a canopy above the host. It served as a protection from the burning heat, and by its coolness and moisture afforded grateful refreshment in the parched, thirsty desert. By night it became a pillar of fire, illuminating their encampment and constantly assuring them of the divine presence.
In one of the most beautiful and comforting passages of Isaiah’s prophecy, reference is made to the pillar of cloud and of fire to represent God’s care for His people in the great final struggle with the powers of evil: “The Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for above all the glory shall be a covering. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isaiah 4:5, 6, margin)..
In the time of trial before us God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. Christ will say to His faithful ones: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast” (Isaiah 26:20). The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every faithful one will surely be gathered. “He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31).
Conflict and Courage p. 91
—–Please pray for Eileen. She had an abnormality with her EKG that they did for pre-op and has an appointment with a cardiologist on June 7. Rose
My grandfather told me many stories about trains when I was a little girl as he had wanted to be an engineer. Our next-door neighbor was a fireman for the railroad. One of my favorite things to do was line some old wooden chairs in a line and pretend I was the engineer. My mother and I often took the train to Chicago, Grand Rapids, or Detroit to go to museums or to do some shopping. Those huge steam locomotives fascinated me. I felt comfortable around them. I looked forward to any time I could be around them. Since we lived north of the tracks, any time we went to town, we had to cross the tracks right by the depot. I was always happy if a train was at the station.
One day, when I was seven, my mother and I were walking to town. At the station, a very strange-looking train was stopped. I was very surprised and wondered what kind of locomotive it could possibly be. I noticed the engineer watching me. Just as I walked in front of the train, he sounded the horn. It was not the comforting sound of a steam locomotive, but a long, loud, unfriendly blast of sound.
That sound terrified me! I jumped up in the air, whirled around, and ran towards home as fast as my chubby legs could carry me. It took my mother two blocks before she caught me. She explained that that strange-looking engine was a new kind that I would be seeing more and more often. After she got me calmed down, we walked back to the tracks and crossed them. I noticed that the engineer was still laughing heartily.
Paul says, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Cor 10:14 “Flee also youthful lusts”2 Tim 2:22 “Flee fornication.” 1 Cor 6:18 When tempted to do any wrong, do we run away from that temptation just instantly, just as fast as I ran when the engineer blew that unfamiliar whistle.
When the evil one terrifies us, we can claim our Great Protector’s promise, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isa 41:10 “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10: 13 Often our way of escape is to, “resist the devil, and, if we do, we have the promise “he will flee from you.” James 4:7
May the Holy Spirit help us to recognize temptation and empower us to flee from it. May we, when the enemy of souls terrifies us with his blasts, may we run to Jesus, our Protector, Comfort, and Strength. May we hide His Word in our hearts that we might not sin against God is my prayer.
Cloud and Fire