A Pillar of Protection and Light

Exodus 14: 19-22
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them.  The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.  Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. 

Picture it.  The Israelites can see the Egyptian army approaching from a distance.  They turn to see that they are blocked by the Red Sea with no way to escape the impending battle. 
One can only imagine the fear that would consume the Israelites as they realized their vulnerable position.
And then...
Yes, then the angel of the Lord comes between the Egyptians and the Israelites. 

I wonder if the Israelites felt immediate peace and comfort of safety?  Maybe, maybe not, but this is not the end of our story.

As the Egyptians are put into darkness, blinded to the working of God on the other side of the pillar of smoke, the Israelites are given light to see the working of God as He parts the waters of the Red Sea. 

And this went on 'all night long' (vs20 and verse 21 also says "and all that night the Lord drove the sea back...").  God could have parted those waters with just a word if He wanted to, but instead He took this time to accomplish His plan all while providing protection for His people.

I'm reminded how much time God has spent working in my life and how during some of the rebellious times and even the times before I came to know Him, He provided me protection from harm.  He stood between me and the enemy while He gave me the time needed to be enlightened and see the clear path He has put before me. 

The Israelites had the fire from the pillar to shed light in the darkness of night so they could see God work.
They saw the that God was providing a way out, and rested in the hope of God.  

The Egyptians were blinded to the working of God because the pillar was smoke on their side.
They were clueless to what God was doing and this led them to charge right into danger and their ultimate demise. 

What a great visual of how, as believers, we must remember that the light of God will lead us in ways the world will not understand.  We are to rest in the hope of His unfailing love and not be distracted by the ways of the world.  When God says 'do this' but the world says 'that doesn't make sense...you should do this instead', we must remember that
the world cannot see the things of God
and we have been given the light of Christ
so that we can know the truth. 

Father God, I am reminded today of how You have protected me from my enemies.  Thank You for the times You have come between me and the enemy to give me time to find my way. Forgive me for the times I have been distracted by the ways of the world, seeking advice or guidance from those who walk in darkness. Thank You Lord for the sacrifice of Your son so that I may walk in His light.  Lord, I am mindful of those around me that still walk in darkness and lift them up to You this day.  Oh Lord, draw them near to You so that they may see Your light and draw near to You.  Lord, You provide for me a clear path and show it to me through the light of Your word.  Make my heart ready to follow.  It's in the name of Christ that I pray.  Amen. 

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