Each Thursday morning this spring, I am teaching the book of Exodus to the Soul Sisters, a group of ladies who get together each week most of the year. In case you aren’t familiar with Exodus, it’s the second book in the Bible, written by Moses and it tells the story of the people of God as they leave Egypt and set out for the Promised Land.
You’re probably aware that we can read about the plagues that we have all heard about, the famous parting of the Red Sea, depicted by Charlton Heston so vividly on the big screen in his role as Moses and the stories of manna from heaven during the 40 years that the people of God wandered the desert. The book is filled with intrigue and reminds us that we must first follow God, then build trust with Him and, finally, come to a place of worshipping Him. It is sometimes difficult to watch the Israelites struggle as they contend with hardship after they have been freed from the oppressive bondage of life in Egypt.
In fact, I believe that Moses wrote the book of Genesis after crossing the Red Sea so that the people would understand that the God who had just delivered them from certain death was the same God who created the heavens and the earth. It provided a basis for Moses to teach them about the Father.
And as the people travelled throughout the desert, they were led by God, in the form of a cloud during the day and as a smoking column of fire by night. For centuries, theologians have considered why God took these various forms during the journey. Perhaps the cloud shielded the people from the heat of the sun during their long trek across the desert and the column of fire by night lit the path for them to follow so they could travel either by day or by night.
The interesting thing about all this is that the people never had to travel in the dark. During daylight, they were protected from the hot sun and at night the fire lit the way for them. These seems like a precursor to what we are told in the New Testament – that God is light and we are to walk in the light – never in darkness. Darkness tends to represent evil and, of course, light is symbolic of walking with God.
Our verse tonight is from John’s first epistle, which happens to be the first book we learn to translate when we study Greek. The language is easier to work with yet the message is profound. The apostle tells us, in 1 John 1:5-7, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Simply stated, Jesus is the light of the world; we have an inkling of that as we read Exodus and watch the people of God walk in the light day and night… My encouragement this evening is that God invites us to follow Him and walk in the light – just as the Israelites did thousands of years ago. My prayer is that we will all choose to walk in the light – after all, there is no greater joy than being in the presence of God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…