And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 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. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. Exodus 13:20-22 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. John 10:27-30 ESV
Many years ago I was alone in an airport. I needed to get to the right gate in a hurry because my flight was going to take off very soon. I was especially anxious to catch the plane because I was going home, but I couldn’t find the right place to catch my flight. I asked an airport worker for help, and she started to give me directions, but the directions just made me more confused. Then she did a very nice thing. She took my arm and hurried with me to the right gate. Thanks to her, I caught my plane.
When God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt he didn’t just tell them how to get to the promised land and let them make their way by themselves. He came down and walked with them. During the day he was in a huge cloud, and at night the cloud turned to fiery lightning. The people of Israel could always see God, and he gave them light during the night. They knew that wherever they went, God was ahead of them, leading them and always ready to help them and take care of them.
God continues to lead and walk with his people today. He came to us in Jesus, and Jesus calls himself our Good Shepherd. He calls us and all people who follow him his sheep. We hear his voice when he speaks to us in his Word, the Bible. Because of what he did for us on the cross, he promises that we will always be alive and with him, and that no one can ever grab us away from Jesus. Even when we die we will go to be with Jesus in Heaven forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for leading us and taking care of us and making us your sheep forever. Amen.