By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.” NIV

Because I tend to get out of bed early in the morning, it is often dark when I first go downstairs. Certainly it is at this time of year. I don’t particularly want the full glare of electric light at that time of day, but sometimes it is so dark I need the light of my mobile phone to show me the way to my favourite ‘quiet time’ chair. Even a little light makes a big difference.

God’s people need His light today, no less than the Israelites did on their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. This light is available:

  • Primarily, it is to be found in God’s Word, the Bible;
  • But He also speaks by His Spirit – by ‘impressions’: by a ‘gentle pressure on the spirit’, as someone put it. We always have to say however, at this point, that God’s Spirit will never prompt anyone to disobey God’s Word. So here is an in-built safeguard to the discernment process.

Someone pointed out that the Shepherd’s lantern in Israel usually gave just enough light for the next step, and when you took it, there would be sufficient light for the next step, and so on. Isn’t it so regularly like this for us? What are you doing with any light you have received?

‘Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,

Lead thou me on;

The night is dark, and I am far from home;

Lead thou me on;

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene: one step enough for me.’