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

Through a series of signs and wonders, God used Moses to free his people from their slavery. The Egyptians were overthrown by God’s mighty hand. The Israelites plundered them and went out of Egypt in search of the Promised Land. Their Exodus had just begun. They had a very long journey ahead of them.

God not only redeemed Israel out of Egypt, he “went before them by day in a pillar of cloud” and “by night in a pillar of fire.” The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire function as signs of God’s special and unique presence. Like a shepherd leading the sheep to water in a desert, God was leading his people to a land flowing with milk and honey.

As we prepare our hearts for Christmas, think about God guiding his people through the desert. He was their shepherd, leading and providing for them on their journey. Let your heart be stirred as you think about how Jesus is your Good Shepherd. He leads you in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you don’t need to fear any evil, for he is with you. God has not left us to ourselves but has given us the Spirit and the scriptures. Our Triune God is leading us home.

Song: Exult in the Savior’s Birth