This cloud and the fire in the cloud at night were present all the time the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness until they crossed over into the Promised Land. They were only two of the many reminders given by God to His people that He was with them. They also served as indicators that it was their God who was leading them. Moses was the go-between but it was to God that they were to look for direction.
We need to remember that the area they traveled through was a desert area. It was a hot, dry climate they were dealing with. The presence of the cloud served to also protect them from the hot sun while the fire in the cloud at night not only gave them light but reassured them in the darkness that God was still with them.
When do you experience those attacks by Satan where he tries to distract you from serving the Lord? Doesn’t it often happen in the night hours? The presence of God as a fire in the cloud at night must have been very reassuring to the people that He was still there and still guiding them.
God gave them a cloud by day to provide shelter from the hot sun. He gave them fire by night to illuminate the darkness long before flashlights or electric lamps. God thinks of everything. He still promises to supply our needs according to His riches in glory (see Philippians 4:19).
How often do you think of the provision of God on your behalf? Isn’t it strange how often these people complained about God’s provision for them? He not only gave them signs of His physical presence with them but also provided manna, quail and water. All their needs were met but still they complained. Are we any different? How often have we failed to look for God in the cloud or in the fire to know that He is still there with us and we can trust Him to look after us? I am fearful that we do not look often enough nor long enough to know His presence and loving protection. Do we spend enough time in the Word of God or in prayer seeking His will and His presence?
Prayer: O God, thank You for Your gracious provision