“And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from their sight.”
“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army.” (Exodus 13:17-18)
But God didn’t leave them alone, without comfort or guidance.
“The Lord guided them by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. That way they could travel whether it was day or night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from their sight.” (Exodus 13:21-22)
God appeared in physical form for his people so that they knew, even in this foreign territory and seemingly vulnerable state, they had light, guidance, protection and comfort. He never left their side. If I am following God to my Promised Land, he may choose to lead me through the more difficult path that doesn’t allow retreat. I may have lost my access to the life I lived before this Exodus, but what I have now is One who is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. He will guide me and keep me. I will not fear my “wilderness.” I will not fear the unknown. I will not wish for a retreat.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He has given me his wisdom in the Bible. His words are the pillars that never leave me; day and night they are available to me as I travel. I am so thankful for this promise!