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Day 7 Dancing in the Fire: "IAM the Light!"

“The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

Exodus 13:21-22 NASB

At the moment I cannot think of a more dramatic example of God’s physical presence than the two awesome pillars that lead the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Sinai wilderness. A beautiful, swirling cloud lead them by day while the bonfire to end all bonfires cut their path into the night, ”to give them light.” Wait a minute, suddenly I have indeed thought of a more dramatic example – the ultimate Truth, actually – of God’s presence:

’I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’” John 8:12 NASB (bold letters added)

As an English teacher I just love the multitude of ways that God foreshadows the coming of Christ through the images and visions of the Old Testament. However, this amazing image is not a mere clue or hint of what is to come later, for indeed, the Light of the world, One with the Father, actually led the mighty exodus of His chosen people out of the land of bondage, guiding Moses, the great human deliverer every step of the way. To consider Christ’s presence in that marvelous escape should be quite natural, but how often do we truly think of Jesus, the Light of the world, as present in the holy pillar of fire that cut a swath through the Red Sea and out of Pharaoh’s clutches on Passover night?

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am.’”

John 8:58 NASB

Jesus’ presence in the pillars of the Exodus finds its ultimate fulfillment in one prophet’s oracle about the coming Messiah for the Jewish nation:

“’HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES…Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’” Luke 4:18c, 21 QUOTING ISAIAH 61:1 NASB

What’s more, it is even more significant today, for you, for me, and for those whom we touch through our own testimonies as witnesses for Christ. We should gaze into the heavens and spiritually see the whirlwind of God and the blazing pillar leading us through those valleys of despair and through the sea of hope. The dry ground of God’s chosen path and the manna of His provision are waiting for us if we are willing to be strong and courageous enough to be obedient to His call. For just as God promised when He sent the bright pillars of His Presence, Jesus also promised eternal companionship and counsel with another extraordinary “I AM” proclamation:

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20 NASB (bold letters added)

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