One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional
Today’s Bible Reading: February 6
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Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the Holman Christian Standard Bible at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.
A Tangible Experience of God’s Presence
Experiencing God’s presence in worship
We’ve all had experiences where we’ve left church on Sunday or a worship retreat or Bible study of some kind and felt God’s presence as we worshiped Him. It’s a wonderful experience and we don’t want that feeling to end. But yet, how long does it take until we fall into sin or go back to living like before? Usually not too long. If the presence of God was visibly and tangibly around you all day, every day, do you think you’d fall into the same trap of sin? Before you’re too quick to answer, let’s look at the cloud of the Lord and Israel.
The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
The Bible tells us that throughout all of Israel’s journeys, God’s presence was with them – in a tangible way. They could see His glory in the cloud that filled the tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night. From the moment they left Egypt all the way through the books of the prophets who foretold of another exodus out of Babylonian captivity, the Cloud of the Lord held both theological meaning and function.
The Cloud of the Lord represented God’s presence in the following ways:
- guidance and leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness into the promised land (Exodus 13:21; Numbers 14:14, Nehmiah 9:12; Paslm 78:14)
- a sign that the nations was to break camp and continue their journey or to stop and set up camp (Exodus 40:36-37; Number 9:17-23)
- protection from Pharaoh and his army (Exodus 14:19-20)
- the personal presence of God/the angel of the Lord was among them (Exodus 13:22; Exodus 14:19, Exodus 14:24, Exodus 40:38, Numbers 9:15-16)
- it summoned them to battle (Numbers 10:34-35)
- it summoned them to worship (Exodus 33:10)
- the cloud both concealed God glory and was a manifestation of it (Exodus 16:10, Exodus 19:9, Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:21, Exodus 24:15-18, Exodus 34:5, Deuteronomy 4:11, Deuteronomy 5:22)
- provided revelation (Exodus 33:9, Psalm 99:7)
- a dwelling place of God (Numbers 9:18, Numbers 9:22, Numbers 10:11)
- God dwelt over the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:2
- a visible manifestation of God for installing the 70 elders and Joshua into service (Num 11:25, Deuteronomy 31:15)
- inaugurated the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35)
- provided shade from the sun and protection from storm (Number 10:34; Psalm 105:39, Isa 4:5)
- at night it became a pillar of fire to give them light (Exodus 14:20
Choosing Idols Over God’s Presence
Wherever they went, the cloud of the Lord led them. And still the nation ended up turning to idols and breaking their covenant with God. As they left Egypt and met God at the mountain, they stood as a nation and said they would do what God wanted them to do – they would obey his commands. They said that God would be their God and they would be His people. But when Moses goes to the top of the mountain for 40 days they get Aaron to make a ‘god’ for them to worship. Throughout the Old Testament they struggled with idol worship.
Fill Us with Your Glory
As believers, God dwells within us. We are His temple. If each of us walked around with the cloud of the Lord and fire by night as a meter for how much our lives reflected God’s glory, would there be a big cloud or a tiny one? Would the fire by night be burning bright or just a little flicker.
Father, fill us with your glory and may it shine bright in a lost world that desperately needs you.
#ReadYourBible #Exodus #Matthew #Godspresence #filluswithYourglory
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