The Lord of the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

“Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:20-22

“And with a pillar of cloud Thou didst lead them by day and with a pillar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go.” Nehemiah 9:12

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Moses, a Hebrew by birth, was called by God to lead His Hebrew people out
From the ancient land of Egypt to a prayed-for promised land route.
Through his obedience and God’s powerful hand, their burdened lives as slaves
Came to be changed forever because the good Lord hears and saves.

God had heard their desperate cries–and had seen the severe oppression;
After many God-sent plagues, Pharaoh finally made his concession.
So hardhearted had he been, that it had taken a very mighty blow
To his own and all Egyptian families before he would let God’s people go.

Many pestilences had been tried–including frogs and boils on man and beast–
Hail, insects, darkness, and finally, death of firstborns of the greatest man’s home
to the least. That was the deciding plague, which caused the barrier to the Hebrews’
freedom to be broken– while they, in Goshen, were spared, for blood on their doorposts
had “spoken.”

Yes, blood from an unblemished lamb on each lintel and doorpost was spread–
This proclaimed that their lives should be preserved because of a lamb that had bled.
They had shared the first Passover meal–a feast remembered to this day,
Which points to God’s sacrificial lamb in Christ–now the Good Shepherd
who leads our way.

After the Passover, God guided His people with a pillar of cloud in their sight;
And for gains through night-time travel, He led by a pillar of fire for needed light.
Quick to regret, Pharaoh pursued the former captives to the brink of the great Red Sea;
But the angel of God and God’s pillar of cloud kept the Hebrews secure and free.

This protection and time were needed, for Moses to stretch forth his hand;
The Lord swept back the sea with a wind all night, creating for the Hebrews dry land.
God’s people then made their way safely, with walls of water on each side–
They followed the leadership of Moses, casting any fears they might have had aside.

God brought Pharaoh’s army into confusion; then the Lord gave Moses the instruction
To stretch forth his hand again, which made way for the pursuers’ destruction.
From out of the pillar of cloud, God caused the Egyptian’s chariot wheels to sway–
The waters turned back and drowned them all, giving the Hebrews victory that day.

Protection and guidance were provided back then through God’s pillar of cloud and fire;
Therefore, let’s seek the same Lord of those ancient days who calls us to a life
that’s higher. Today a “promised land” is yours through the leading of the Holy Spirit
and Jesus Christ, God’s Son– Abundant life now and an eternal home with God is freely
offered to everyone.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the Old Testament account in the book of Exodus)

New Testament references:

“And Peter said to them ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'” Acts 2:38

Words of Jesus:

“…I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28 KJV

“…and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said…And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” John 17: 1. 4

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

Blessing and Judgment by the Hand of the Lord

I believe you, God, for every good and perfect gift;
For doubting that would cause me to be adrift
On the devil’s sea of unbelief,
With its dangerous waters and treacherous reef.
Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light.
I believe Your Word and reject any fright.
You’ve promised to shepherd me each new day–
With Your rod and Your staff, You’ll lead the way.
You’re the Light of the World, I can’t go wrong–
I can do all things in Him Who makes me strong.
Strong I am, and it’s easy to receive–
For You have said, just pray and believe.
Your help is sure, and You’ve said I can command
Judgment on the adversary from Your mighty hand!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“The Lord is my shepherd…He leads me…He guides me…Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me…Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life….” (from Psalm 23)

“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.” Mark 11:24

See also the following regarding God’s mighty hand:

Exodus 3:20
Exodus 13: 3, 9, 14, 16
Exodus chapter 14

You’ve Never Seen Anything Like It

“But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 (King James Version, KJV)

Eye hath not seen, nor ear yet heard,
neither our hearts, says God’s Holy Word,
have envisioned the things which the Lord has in store
for all those who will meet Him on heaven’s shore.
A river like crystal and a main street of gold
are just some of the beauty that we will behold.
But, then, best of all, at last we will view–
our Savior, Jesus Christ, Faithful and True.
Though we face trials down here on this earth,
they’re nothing compared to heaven’s great worth.
You’re more than a conqueror–He gives you His grace,
both now and in eternity’s unfathomable place.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.”
Revelation 19:11 (New American Standard)

“The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
Revelation 21:19-23 (New American Standard)

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1 (KJV)

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 (KJV)

Have the Heart of Ruth

We read in the Bible that Ruth, of Moab, had a loyal and loving heart.
So upon the death of her Hebrew husband, she felt that she couldn’t part
From Naomi, her beloved mother-in-law, who had urged her to make her way
Back to Ruth’s own parent’s home; but, instead, Ruth begged to stay.

She shared her heart, stating that where Naomi went, so, in fact, would she;
Where she lodged and the God she worshiped–these would also be
What she desired for her own particular life, even to her day of dying.
To stay with her late husband’s “family” was the future on which she was relying.

Naomi allowed Ruth, then, to go with her on her Bethlehem-Judah return;
There Ruth would find a special blessing that only God could have discerned.
For there was a kinsman-redeemer through Naomi’s husband’s line,
Whom Ruth would meet, while gleaning in his fields, by God-ordained design.

Related by blood, willing and able to redeem this woman, Boaz entered her life;
A prominent free man, total provision was hers, when she later became his wife.
One can easily see an analogy here to the Bible’s New Testament account that we read
Of God becoming Man, through Jesus Christ–the Kinsman-Redeemer
He knew we would need.

Like Ruth, leave the “god” you once were told about; find shelter under the
true God’s wings.
Look to the Way, the Truth, and the Life–and experience the peace that Christ brings.
Don’t try to make it on your own with God, through acts of service, however kind;
There’s provision for us as “the bride of Christ,” which He, the Bridegroom,
wants us to find.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.'”
Ruth 1:16-17

“May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
Ruth 2:12

“You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:28-30 (words of John the Baptist regarding Christ, the Bridegroom)
Other references:
Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19,20

Where Are You Placing Your Confidence?

Turn your confidence around;
Let it now in God be found.
There are thoughts that seek to deceive,
But just let God those fears relieve.
Turn your confidence around;
Jesus’ Words are sure and sound.
Cast down any thought that things can’t change–
With God, anything can rearrange.
Turn your confidence around,
For every victory in Him is found.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4,5

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'”
1 Corinthians 15:54

No “Goliath” Too Big for our God…

“…for the battle is the Lord’s…” 1 Samuel 17:47

The Bible says that all of the Hebrew warriors’ knees were knocking
At the sight and size of the giant, Goliath, an enemy who was shocking.
None were brave enough at all to finish that giant off;
And when they saw him at a distance, Goliath would loudly scoff.

But there was a shepherd lad of courage who had fought a lion and bear–
To him, the giant Goliath was really nothing of a scare,
For David had the faith of one who knew that he was guarded
By the greater Lord of Hosts–and it was Him Whom he regarded.

David rejected King Saul’s armor and chose to fight Goliath instead
With declarations of faith, a slingshot, and a stone to knock him dead.
That’s exactly how it went–though he had brought a total of five;
It took just one stone plus faith to make that giant not survive!

Today, in our lives, we may have never tackled a lion or a bear–
But David’s example of facing things fearful makes us be aware
That faith in God is ample for the things that we may face–
Though problems may seem looming, we can conquer them by God’s grace.

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A postscript to this Biblical record is that we might speculate
That a further lesson is in the account that one could possibly state.
The five smooth stones that David brought show he was quite prepared
To try again, depending on how the first stone actually fared!

P. A. Oltrogge

And, like David, remembering past victories, where the Lord undertook for us, can help us in facing what may be or what seems like a greater challenge before us….

“And David said, ‘The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you.'” 1 Samuel 17:37

Joseph’s Example

Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife,
Believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life.
Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned.
Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.
He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent.
He became the protector of God’s great intent.
Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke,
With messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.
Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told,
For He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old.
In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.”
Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.
We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene;
Being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role.
His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.
Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice.
Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25

(Further references in Matthew 2)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

The Manger…

Jesus…

It’s a funny thing, but I never saw
Why You might have been laid in a bed of straw.
That’s where the animals came to feed,
And that was representative of our daily need
Of the Bread of Life, which, Jesus, You are.
We’re drawn to Your Word like wise men to a star.
To all people the angels proclaimed tidings of great joy,
By pointing to the birth of that God-indwelt boy,
Who lay down in the manger where the animals were fed.
Jesus–the Word was God–You’re our daily bread.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son, and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:4-7

From Out of the Miry Clay

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.” Psalm 40;2

To My mind, your life without Me was like being in miry clay;
But I kept My hope that you’d respond to My love one day.
Where you had been didn’t matter so much,
For I knew that you were in need of My touch.
Ever so gently I drew you away–
I knew this would happen if you would just pray.
By the power of My Spirit you opened your heart,
And now, through My grace, you have gotten a new start.
That person you were has actually died;
A new life’s begun due to “Christ crucified.”

So rejoice in My love as I do in yours.
Share it with others despite troubles or wars,
For I have room for so many through heaven’s open doors.
And from out of heaven’s windows, My love surely pours–
Down to the miry clay–or wherever it may
Find people and lead them out to My way.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Galatians 2:20

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“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

Psalm 91:4

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Matthew 23:37 (New King James)

Be willing to come to Christ and be blessed….

The Revelation Ride of the King

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the soon return of the King we revere.
In this present year with which we strive,
Not a person is now alive
Who knows the exact year, day, or hour, but it’s near.

Jesus plainly said that as the signs toil
On before our very own sight,
We should have our lamps lit with plenty of oil,
As if on a church tower as a signal light–
Both to guide others and serve as our key
When He on the opposite shore will be.
Ready to ride, but first keep us from harm,
He will catch away His children through city and farm–
Yes, those with His Word, who’ve been up and armed.

When Jesus descends from Heaven with a shout,
There will be no more time for those who claim doubt.
The dead in Christ will be raised up first.
Then believers still alive will leave the earth
To meet the Lord with them in the air,
While others will be left in the tribulation’s snare.

Some misunderstand and say, “None will be left out,”
But that thought is simply a satanic route
To keep you from seeing that God’s beautiful plan
Of salvation was meant for each woman and man.
He lovingly yearns for you to come home–
Don’t be like the prodigal son who would roam.

For, as in the garden of Eden, the voice
Of Satan tells you to make your own choice.
“Surely God didn’t say Christ was THE WAY–
You can stick around here–take time to play.”
But if this life’s pursuits are all you’ve perceived,
You’ll find, in the end, that you’ve been deceived.
It’s a deceptive lie if you think this is all,
When God’s given each one of us a much higher call–
To love Him and others–then join Christ one day,
Bringing all whom we can for an eternal stay.

To put faith in so-called prophets of merit
Or even in good things you’ve done,
Won’t gain you the heaven you hope to inherit–
Since THE DOOR is the sinless Christ, God’s Son.
His blood sacrifice made on the cross
Is the only assurance against heaven’s loss.
There won’t be a Messiah by any other name,
But Jesus Christ of world-renowned fame.

You’re sure of these things, you ask, by what right?
It’s all found in the Bible, which gives us the light.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,
Offering adoption as His children and true brotherhood.
Blessed beyond measure you’ll surely be
Both now and for eternity.

So receive the Lord–it’s simple to pray.
Repent of your sins and turn to Christ’s way.
For as in the time of Noah, it’s now–
What God says is wrong, we must disavow.
The days will get darker in this world of sin,
But Christ is the “Ark,” and He’s urging us to come in.
Things are happening fast upon the world’s scene;
It’s time to embrace what God really did mean.

A hurry of hoofs from a heavenly street,
And the fate of all souls will then be complete.

Revelation tells us that Christ will appear
On a white horse to reign down here,
With a shout of victory and not of fear–
A voice piercing this world’s darkness,
The voice of Him Who is “the Way” and “the Door.”
His Word shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the past,
Through all earth’s history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people who know Him and have listened to hear
For the hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
Heed the end-time message of the King we revere!

P. A. Oltrogge

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.  And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.  And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written.  ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.'”  Revelation 19:11-16

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'” John 14:6

“Jesus therefore said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.'” John 10:7-9