3/8 Exodus 40:38

38 For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

This is the last verse in the book of Exodus. The tabernacle was completed. God would continue to be with them, but separated from them by the veils of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle would be in the middle of the camp so that their worship place would be most accessible to all. When it was erected, the glory of the LORD filled it to the extent that Moses was unable to enter. Adding to this powerful visible effect was the presence of the pillar of cloud that led them and settled on the Tabernacle whenever they camped. At night it became a pillar of fire, lighting up the Tabernacle.

We sometimes wish we could see such powerful images to help our faith. But the essence of faith is believing when you can't see (Hebrews 11:1). If seeing really helped our faith, the older generation of Israelites would not have died in the wilderness. Seeing may encourage us for a time, but it is faith that endures the test of time.

The lesson we should learn from the pillar of cloud is to let God lead. When the pillar lifted from the Tabernacle, trumpets were blown to announce that it was time to break camp. When the pillar of cloud stopped, they set up camp again. Sometimes they were in one spot for a few days, and other times for months. They didn't follow a pattern or conditions. They followed the LORD in the cloud.

Today we have the LORD'S presence in the Holy Spirit. He tells us when to move and when to settle down. If we rely on physical signs, we will not develop a sensitivity to the Spirit. We are actually more blessed than the Israelites, for God is leading each of us individually in personal way and as a body of believers. The trumpet we hear is the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Consider: Am I letting the Holy Spirit lead my life like the cloud led the Israelites?