When the Israelites left Egypt for Canaan, a difficult and treacherous journey lay ahead of them. Many hardships and temptations faced them as they travelled their long way, during which time God led them in the form of a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. Yet, even though God was guiding them all along their way, a great number of the people rebelled and expressed the desire to turn back to ungodly Egypt where they felt the oppression which they had faced was not so great as the long hard journey.
This journey of the children of Israel was a picture of the pilgrimage which is before all the children of God. We are born dead in sin and under the constant oppression of the forces of the world, facing trials and temptations all along our life’s journey to the Heavenly Canaan. Just as the children of Israel did, we too must endure countless occasions when our flesh tells us to turn the way of the world, to “turn back to Egypt.” Therefore, during the pilgrimage of this life, we must make God our leader, use the Bible as our chart, and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit on our way to Heaven, our final home.
I seek no guide save only thee,
Nor ask the way thou leadest me!
My only prayer: “Lord may I know
The work that Thou wouldst have me do?”/
If in far lands, Thou Ieadest me,
Cross arid plains, or storm-vexed sea,
By pathways dark, or lone, or drear,
Clasping thy hand, I will not fear.
. . . Unknown
It is extremely necessary that we have this comfort in life and that we follow the guides which God has given to us. There are many enemies, dangers, and pitfalls which lurk behind the rocks and bushes all along our pathway of life, waiting to snatch us from off our road. And indeed the world does use many enticing methods to try to draw us away from this road to everlasting life. And therefore we need this wonderful guidance of God, for our weak flesh is always willing to fall along the way and enjoy the pleasures of the world.
It is also important that we praise God for these guides which He has given us. God made Himself our leader, we did not choose to be His followers: God gave us the will and desire to follow His chart, the Bible. Even as God wrote the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone, He writes on our hearts, through the Holy Spirit, His Word. God’s Word is a “lamp unto our feet, and a light upon our path.” David also writes, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee. Of ourselves, we would ignore this chart, but the Holy Spirit guides us in the way. And not only is it necessary that we praise God for His guidance in the past, but we must also pray for God’s guidance in the future. For prayer leads to praise, and praise prepares for prayer.
The Bible and the Holy Spirit guard us from evils and our enemies. God often leads us through trying times, but this too is His will, and as we all know, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” God does this to show us how powerless our weak sinful flesh really is, and how mighty God is. If God were not there to lead us, we could not lake a single step on the road to our heavenly Canaan.
Even as the Israelites were led by God through the cloud, we too are led by God, through His Word and Spirit, to our Heavenly home. God truly is “Our Wonderful Heavenly Guide.”