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. AS THE PILLAR OF CLOUD WAS GIVEN TO GUIDE AND COMFORT, SO THE BIBLE IS DESIGNED TO LEAD THE THOUGHT AND CONSOLE THE SORROW OF MAN. Without the Bible man would be lost in the wide waste of error. It is also intended to console the human heart in all the troubled moods of life, when its joys grow dim, when it is rendered lonely by bereavement, and when it comes to death. At such times the Bible is our chief consolation, it enables us to sorrow in hope, it shows us One who is the Resurrection and the Life.
II. AS THE PILLAR COMBINED BOTH CLOUD AND FIRE, SO THE BIBLE UNITES ILLUMINATION AND MYSTERY. There is mystery in it which the finest genius cannot attain, which angelic intelligence cannot interpret, and which eternity may not simplify. Deity dwells in the volume, and we expect that clouds and darkness will be round about Him. But there is fire in the Book which illumines the doctrines and morality of the Christian life.
III. AS THE PILLAR OF CLOUD AIDED THE OUTGOING OF ISRAEL FROM BONDAGE TO REST, SO THE BIBLE IS THE BEST HELP MAN CAN HAVE IN WALKING THROUGH THIS LIFE TO THE NEXT. They walk the best in the wilderness of life who pay the most heed to the Word of God (Psalm 119:105). Lessons:
1. Be thankful for the Bible.
2. Follow the directions of the Bible.
3. Seek the consolation of the Bible.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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; to go by day and night: