Sermon The pillar of cloud and fire
Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light…
I. EXPLAIN THE TEXT.
1. We may observe that God's people in every age stand in need of a guide, and without it they would miss the path of duty and of happiness.
2. The Lord Himself graciously condescends to become the guide of His people, and He alone is fit to be so. He only has a perfect knowledge of the way, and of all the difficulties that may befall them in it; and He only is able to support and defend them against the designs of all their enemies.
3. The Lord guides His people in different ages of the world, by various means adapted to their circumstances, and to the peculiar dispensations under which they live. (1) By His Providence. (2) By His Word. (3) By His Spirit.
II. SYMBOLIC MEANING.
1. It was altogether miraculous, and a symbol of the Divine presence. It was called the cloud of the Lord; there it was He dwelt in the midst of His people, and spake with them face to face (Numbers 19:14).
2. This mysterious cloud was intended to direct the Israelites in their journey, and by it the Lord communicated to them His will.
3. The cloudy pillar in the wilderness afforded refreshment by its shade, as well as guidance by its light. And is not Jesus both our sun and shield, our light and shade, as our different necessities require? In a season of darkness, He sends forth His cheering beams; and when our soul is ready to faint within us, He ministers to our refreshment and relief. 4. The cloudy pillar was designed for safety and defence, as well as for a guide through the wilderness.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
As found in Exell's Biblical Illustrator. The full sermon is in The Short Discourses Vol 7