And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
Exodus 13:21 ESV
The newly freed Israelites fled quickly from their former masters, the Egyptians, but where was such multitude to run? The LORD Himself would be their guide. They only needed to follow their Deliverer in order to live.
How easy it is to see within this text parallels of how Christ leads us! It is Christ who is the pillar of cloud to guide us by the day. When life is like the day, we find ourselves walking in the light, so that we can see God most clearly. The eyes of our hearts are fixed upon Him who guides us. As we become invigorated by the presence of sunlight, so do the blessings of God enliven our hearts. Yet notice that in the light of day God shrouds Himself in clouds.
Yet what happens at night? What is to become of us whenever the light around us goes black? When shrouded Deity that once stood before us now seems to have vanished and we cannot even see the ground beneath our feet, even less the glory of Christ, how are we then to follow? He appears then as a pillar of fire before us, lighting our path!
How interesting that God covers His glory during the daylight but erupts into splendor before us in the night. During the day, we have light to see and would be disturbed deeply by the display of God’s magnificence; however, when the night comes, His glory shines forth without any other source of light but Him. While in the dark night of the soul, take heart for it is there that the glory of God will be the light for your feet in glory of Jesus Christ.