S (Scripture): Exodus 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God didn’t lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, even though that was the shorter route. God thought, “If the people have to fight and face war, they will run back to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people by the roundabout way of the Reed Sea desert. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt ready for battle. 19 Moses took with him Joseph’s bones just as Joseph had made Israel’s sons promise when he said to them, “When God takes care of you, you must carry my bones out of here with you.” 20 They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 The Lord went in front of them during the day in a column of cloud to guide them and at night in a column of lightning to give them light. This way they could travel during the day and at night. 22 The column of cloud during the day and the column of lightning at night never left its place in front of the people.
O (Observation): A reminder by Joseph – “When God takes care of you” – has multiple applications here. First, God has rescued God’s people from slavery in Egypt. Second, as they are set free, so too are they protected with a pillar of cloud by day and lightning by night (though I’ve always read “fire” at night… interesting to ponder).
Joseph knew of God’s promise of old. Moses knows God’s promise for the future.
A (Application): So, what is your pillar of cloud by day and pillar of lighting by night? Have you sensed God’s comfort in any way? God’s protection?
What do these things look like for you?
For me, the protection comes in the form of a caring family, trusted colleagues, and the plethora of continuing education options available to me. I am protected…and that also includes ways that I cannot yet see.
P (Prayer): Lord, we seek your protection. Help us to see it all around us. Amen.