The Pillar of fire led Israel through the wilderness. It was unpredictable. Sometimes it would stay one day, sometimes two days and sometimes more. The Israelites had to set up a watch on the pillar day and night so that if it decided to move they could arouse the camp at any time and follow. God controlled the Pillar. He didn’t ask for directions from the leadership. His people had to be alert. The New Testament word for this attitude was “watch.” We find it in Matthew 24:42, 25:13, 1 Cor 16:13, 1 Thes 5:6, 1 Peter 4:7, as well as other places. All telling us to be alert because God was unpredictable – you can’t put him in a box or tie him down to our schedules!

When we follow God’s direction we walk in the “light.” The Pillar provided light for His people in the darkness. Jesus was referring to this when he called himself the “light of the world. (John 8:12). He promised those who followed and trusted in Him that they would never walk in darkness. To walk in darkness means to be out of the will of God, apart from the blessing of God, and in danger of the discipline of God. Why live in the shadows or in the darkness when you can have God’s fmiling face shining on you?