He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night.
Psalm 105:39

This describes how the Lord guided and protected His people Israel on their forty-year journey through the desert of Sinai. He spread out a cloud as a covering in the daytime and in the night gave them fire that provided both light and warmth.

It so happens that as a soldier in World War II, I made a journey of seven days and nights through that same Sinai desert. I learned something there that greatly enhanced my appreciation of the wonders of God’s provision. In the daytime the desert is very hot, but at night it becomes bitterly cold. I understood how beautifully God had provided.

In the daytime that cloud was a shield that protected them from the heat of the sun’s rays. But at night it became a fire that gave them both light and needed warmth. That is how God guided His people for forty years through the desert.

For us as Christians, the cloud that guided Israel vividly prefigures the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Paul tells us that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). As God guided Israel through the desert by the cloud, He now guides us through this world by the Holy Spirit. What the cloud was to Israel, the Holy Spirit is to us. In times of heat, He overshadows us. In times of darkness, He gives us light. When it becomes cold all around us, He gives us supernatural warmth. In all circumstances our environment is tempered by His presence. All this is summed up in the title by which Jesus promised the Spirit to His disciples: the Comforter.

Faith’s Response Help me, Lord, to be continually guided and overshadowed by Your Holy Spirit.

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