“5 Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy.”
The book of Isaiah begins with the promise of destruction. There will be catastrophe. There will be blood. Life as Israel knows it will come to an end. All because of their on decisions. They turned their back on God. They broke every commandment. They longed to be like the other nations rather than rest in the holy, set apart nation God intended them to be. It’s a bleak beginning to this book. But Isaiah, knowing and understanding the glory and grace of God leaves this one verse. It provides a glimmer of hope. It recalls a time when Israel had no place to call home. They had no riches. No king. No direction. But they had Yahweh and that was all they needed. They had a guide, a protector, a provider…and even in the face of impending catastrophe that promise remains. God’s glory can always be seen after the catastrophe blows through and destroys all we had known.
We make bad decisions in our life. We will turn our back on God at times. We will deal with the consequences of our own sinful actions. But whenever the darkness closes in around us, we need only cry out for God who never turns his back and look up for the pillar of fire to guide us out. Israel needed it once. So do we. Today I want to rest in the fact that God has called me. He has set me apart. He has made me new. I can follow the smoke by day and the fire by night. I trust he is there and his glory is a canopy over my life. No matter what may come, that truth will always remain. You too are called. You are holy. You are set apart. Whatever you may be going through, your guide is ready it show you the way. Your protector wants to surround you with his grace. Your provider wants to give life and give it abundantly. Cry out. Look for the towering fire that can light up the darkest of darkness. The light will show the way.
Let’s all find our hope in that today.