Will it be lion? Or lamb?
Tradition has it that March (that see-sawing month of months) comes in either like a lion or a lamb. According to the television weather person I watched this morning, our neck of the woods is going to have both in one day.
March is the month that precludes the ‘real’ burst of spring. It never seems to make up its mind what it wants to be (just like many of us!). One moment we have the chills and snow showers of winter. The next the balmy breezes that signal spring warmth is just a few days away.
Sometimes, we live a bit like the month of March. We are just never sure where we are or when we are going.
Exodus 13: 21 & 22-And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
The Israelites were escaping. Running off. Throwing away the shackles of slavery under Pharaoh. They’d left so fast they couldn’t even wait for their bread to rise..which is why we have the Feast of the Unleavened bread, or ‘matzoh’ as we now call it. Men, women, children, of all ages and stations of life, were following Moses and Aaron who told them that this is what God wanted them to do. They had no way of knowing where they were going but off they went, faith in hand.
They did have some assurance they were on the right track, however, by the huge pillar of a cloud that led them and turned into fire at night so that their way was illuminated. That had to be comforting.
Exodus 14: 19& 20-And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these; so that the one came not near the other all the night.
Even before Moses stretches out his hand in the next verse, everyone had God’s confirmation that something ‘big’ was about to happen. God who had been BEFORE them, now was BEHIND them.
God had their back.
He was deliberately putting an obstruction in the way of those who sought to overthrow His plan, and saw to it that He could still uplift and give light to His people who followed him.
There are those who would stymie our efforts to follow God…but God has our back.
Our God is before us and behind us. He is our light in a world of darkness and our pillar whose cloud of leading helps us dampen the ways of the world by showing us the benefit of our trusting Him.
There is an old Bible school song I once heard that went something like this: “Where He leads me, I will follow. Without Him, I’d lose my way. I will have a bright tomorrow, if I follow Him today.” (Sorry, I don’t remember who wrote it! If anyone knows, let me know and I will attribute!)
Remember today that God is BEFORE you and BEHIND you…