“Yet there shall be a space between you and it (the Ark of the Covenant), about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”
“…that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” What a comfort this must have been to the children who had been born during Israel’s time of wandering in the wilderness. They had grown up seeing the benefits of God — the pillar of fire by night, the comfort of the cloud by day, and the provision of manna on a daily basis for forty years. Now, they were about to enter the Promised Land and embark on a new chapter in their lives where they were to feed off the land.
The life of the believer is like this in many ways. Just as the children of Israel relied on the pillar of fire and cloud to lead them, we have the Holy Spirit to lead us. It is through His guidance that we press on toward our destination. As it was with Israel, so it is with us — the Lord has and never will leave His people alone.
While it was Joshua who prepared the children of Israel for entering the Promised Land, it was the position of the Ark of the Covenant that symbolized the very presence of God. The children of Israel crossing over into the land can be likened to us being born again. Joshua was appointed as their leader and commander, but Jesus is so much more. This life’s journey is filled with many ups and downs, but through them we are being prepared for victory. Christian, it is not a matter of if we shall be saved, we are. Nor is it a matter of will we make it to the end, we will — because He is faithful!
For now believer, things seem hard and the night seems darker than ever, yet might I remind you that these things must be. Christ goes before us at a distance and I am glad that it is so. There will be a day when the Lord no longer leads at a distance; for He is not only going ahead of us, He will soon appear to receive us unto Himself.
Did Jesus not suffer for us first on His cruel Cross? Did He not first rise from the dead? Did He not go ahead of the disciples into Galilee? And did He not first ascend up into heaven to prepare a place for us? Yes, and yes, He did and so shall He come and lead us today and tomorrow and forevermore!
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