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Fire Stories: The Israelites And The Pillar of Fire! | Exodus 13:17-22

Welcome back to “Fire Stories” our current series on The Bible for Busy People. We are talking about the Israelites today and the pillar of fire. We are going to dip our toes into the Red Sea today and see how this incredible story applies to us today.

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Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. My name is Erica, and it is so good to have your company around the fire of God’s word today. It’ll keep you warm in a cold world, that’s for sure. You are smack dab in the middle of a series called Fire Stories. Today we’re gonna talk about the Israelites and the Pillar of Fire. Such a powerful bible story and it has significance for you and I today. Last time we talked about Moses and the burning bush, and remember God promised him that he was gonna send him to rescue the Israelites from slavery. And probably even if you’ve never cracked open a Bible in your life, you know that God used Moses to part the Red Sea. You know, he can part that red sea of difficulty in your life today too. And so today, we’re gonna dive into that story a little bit. We’re just gonna kind of put our toes into the Red Sea and see what God is gonna do and what it means to us. 

So join me in Exodus near the beginning of your Bible, chapter 13, beginning in verse 17. “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the promised land. God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” Sometimes being part of God’s plan and living in it and trusting it means you gotta go through the wilderness to get there. But trust me, he’s with you every step of the way. “Thus, the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.”

So there’s our toe in the Red Sea. “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him for Joseph had made the Sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, ‘God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.’ The Israelites left Succoth,” I hope I’m saying that right. “Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. The Lord went ahead of them.” This is our takeaway verse, verse 21. “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.”

The Lord himself led the Israelites out of slavery. It is no wonder that we know Jesus is the light of the world, and in these crazy times that we’re living in Him, that we’re living in, we can trust the Lord to lead us through the darkness himself. He will lead us himself. It is so beautiful. There’s a verse in Isaiah that I didn’t plan to talk about, but it’s so beautiful. I think it’s Isaiah 51:12 and it says, “I even, I am he who comforts you.” God is so specific about how much he loves us and wants to help us. He is a God who is engaged with our lives, and that’s because of his great love. Now, this is a verse that I planned to talk about. We’re gonna go to Psalm 119:105. I’m a little excited here because God is still the pillar of fire in the darkness that you and I are living through in 2022. Listen to this. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Isn’t this so encouraging that you are choosing the light by gathering right here for this podcast? We study the Bible in seven minutes or less. This is when you and I refill with hope and light and peace and joy because that’s what happens when we open up God’s word. It sheds light over every little bit of darkness in our lives. 

My little niece, Kenzie, went camping recently with her cousin, and it’s so cute. There’s a picture of them sitting outside by the tents and they’ve got coloring books, and there’s a little old-fashioned lantern. It’s beautiful and it lit up the darkness around them. I’m sure like any kid, I used to be afraid, is there a bear gonna come? Is there a mountain lion? What’s gonna get me? But that light shown around Kenzie and her cousin and her daddy and her uncle, and they were able to see if anything dangerous was nearby. The Lord is our light. He is the lamp that lights up all of the dark spaces. He guides us, He leads us, and He through his word, whether you have a Bible in front of you with a bunch of notes in it, whether you have written, you know, um, something special in your Bible and it has significance to you, whether you’ve never opened a Bible in your life, whether you read your Bible on your phone. However you consume God’s word, it will provide light for you. It will provide wisdom for you. You can count on it. It’s a promise from God. And so we have this beautiful picture of God leading the Israelites out of slavery, rescuing them. By appearing as a pillar of fire, and he’s still doing it today in 2022. He’s still leading us and guiding us, and I praise him for that today. Hey, another fire story next time. All right? Till then, remember, you are really loved. 

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