Friday, May 29
Orientation in the Wilderness
For the Children of Israel, the 40 year journey through the wilderness required immense learning about trust. They had to learn to trust God for their breakfast (manna). They had to learn to trust God for their supper (quail). They had to learn to trust God for the provision of water. They had to learn to trust God to know when to go and when to stop. They had to learn to trust God for the direction they were to take. As part of the trust relationship God wanted them to have with himself, he provided two significant visual images that all the people could see.
The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22
A pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The Israelites saw these objects and they remembered that God was inviting them to trust Him. This theme of trust continues to be central to a living relationship with God. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus said:
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God
above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:25-33
What is God teaching you about trusting him as you journey through the wilderness?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the many times when I worry about tomorrow. I thank you that you forgive me for my lack of trust. Fill me with your Spirit that I learn daily to seek you and your kingdom above everything else. Show me how good life is when I depend on you for everything. Amen.