Cover to Cover
Reading: Exodus 37:17-40:38
Focus: Exodus 40:34-38
Have you ever been in a train of cars following someone to a destination? If you don’t know where you’re going, you have no choice but to follow that person, even if they get lost, you don’t know that, you just follow them. Life can be a little like this for us; we have no idea where we’re going, we just try and find our own way, or we can choose to follow God. God who created all things goes before us and if we choose to follow Him, leads and guides us through life.
Such was the journey of the Exodus, the Israelites and Moses, even, didn’t know where they were going. All they knew was about some Promised Land which they had heard in stories and, finally, were returning to after all these years in Egypt. The early days (actually, throughout the entire journey) the people complained that they were being led to their deaths, God continually frustrated by their lack of faith in His guidance. Yet, the simple reality was that they just didn’t know where they were going and had no choice but to rely on God.
After the completion of the Tabernacle, the cloud which had been leading them—the glory of the LORD—came and settled and filled the Tabernacle. God was with His people. Then, when the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, it was time to move out. By day, the cloud would lead them; by night, a cloud of fire would be their guide. It was always in sight for all the people to see. Imagine the sight!
However, just as the Israelites complained and grumbled throughout their journey, often we wonder about where God is leading us. Just as you may follow someone to a destination, if you have a general sense of direction, you might get agitated and start thinking, “Why didn’t we just turn there? It would have been quicker!” In your pride, you decide to take your own route…only to find that everyone arrives at the destination 20 minutes before you do. If only you had stayed with the group and followed the lead.
Yet, such is the journey of life. Honestly, none of us know where we’re going…really! Yet, somehow in our pride we seem to think that we know what’s best for us; rather than following the steps of the God who created us, we think we, the created, know best!? Without a doubt, God’s journey is not an easy one at times, but it is the best one. Like the Israelites, our attention should be focused upon God, we follow where He leads; we wait where He stops. As Paul exhorted the Galatians: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:25-26)
Next Reading: Leviticus 1:1-4:35