God Led The Israelites by a Cloud And by Fire

A certain Christian traveler was packing his suitcase, about to proceed on a journey. He remarked to a friend: “There is still a little corner left open in which I desire to pack a guidebook, a lamp, a mirror, a telescope, a book of poems, a number of biographies, a bundle o … More


The shortest way to Palestine was through the territory of the Philistines in the direction of  Beersheba. God chose to lead His people, not on the nearest way, but the way that was best  for them (vv. 17-18), just as He does today. He led them southward, instead of eastward, by way of Etham to the western edge of the Red Sea (vv. 19-20).

Moses had heard of Joseph’s request that his bones be taken from Egypt so he honored that request. Joseph dying words had been, “God will come to your rescue, and when He does, be sure to take along my bones."  Doubtless the coffin containing his embalmed body (Gen. 50:26) became a rallying point for the Hebrews in their wilderness wanderings.

The Israelites were supernaturally guided by a pillar of cloud in the daytime, which  became a pillar of fire by night. God always makes His way clear to those who are willing to follow. In some ways this pillar typified the Holy Spirit as it provided the following:

  1. A road map for the children of Israel through the wilderness (v. 21). 
  2. A light for them to travel by night (v. 21).
  3. Protection for the Israelites from the heat of the sun in the sandy dessert (v. 22).
  4. Darkness to hid the Israelites from the Egyptians (Ex. 14:20). 

This way the Lord could lead them at all times, whether day or night.


It is so easy for me to ask God to bless my plans when I need to be seeking how I can fit into His plans for my life.

Exodus 13:17-22 (English Standard Version)

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