"Who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go" (Deuteronomy 1:33, NIV).
A vanguard is one who goes ahead of an advancing army. The word fittingly describes the liberation movement from Egypt to the promised land.
Throughout Israel's rigorous forty-year journey, the invisible leader was Jesus Christ. "It was the Son of God who stood as an armed warrior before the leader of Israel. It [He] was the One who had conducted the Hebrews through the wilderness, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night."--Signs of the Times, April 14, 1881. Jesus Christ Himself was the vanguard who went ahead of His people. Through symbols and similitudes, He led his people. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud and of fire, Jesus searched out their camping site at night and showed them the route to be followed by day.
Today, Israel's mighty vanguard is still patiently leading spiritual Israel to that "better country"--the true promised land. He is still the Christ who goes ahead of His redeemed people. His promise is, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). In adversity and prosperity, in sadness and gladness, in all our ups and downs, our vanguard goes ahead. Capture now this precious promise: "It was Jesus that led ancient Israel, through the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night... and in this important period of the world's history, he will as manifestly lead his people. The path is no uncertain one. The way is marked out, and every step is ordered by the Lord."--Signs of the Times, March 6, 1883.
My Prayer Today: Lord, You are the vanguard of Your people in their journey to the promised land. Help me to follow Your leading. Amen.