The Pillar of Cloud & Fire — Relying on human guidance vs. God’s guidance.
Reading 1: Numbers 9:15-23
Reading 2: Numbers 10:29-36
Reading 3: Isaiah 48:17-19
We have reflected repeatedly on the difference between obeying God and following our own wisdom. Today we see another lesson in the same vein. The Israelites started out well, following God’s leadership through the wilderness at the direction of the pillar of fire and smoke. When it lifted, they moved, and when it settled, they camped.
That seems very simple, yet it is also a challenge to our human natures that prefer to know what is happening, and preferably what is going to happen! Thus Israel gradually relied more on their own wisdom and less on God’s leadership. The result is that they were eventually sent into exile for disobedience. Isaiah records God’s lament over their un-necessary hardships.
Sometimes you and I go through experiences that are the result of our own disobedience. The consequences of disobedience remain the same – separation from God and relinquishing His plans for us – BUT we do not have to remain in our rebellion. Jesus has opened another way for us: forgiveness for our sin, repentance to take a new direction, and grace to live an obedient life in Jesus.
Choose wisely today – peace and fruitfulness depend on it!
Have a great day!