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. 6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
Observation - What does it say?
Isaiah warned of a time when only a few of God’s people would be left. But although the framework of their society would be in ruins, the day would come when this time of complete despair would transition to a time of hope as God would restore them.
In this new time of hope and restored relationship with God, God’s presence would be manifested among them continually as a cloud during the day and fire at night. And above that the glory of God would act as a canopy to shelter them from the elements.
Understanding - What does it mean?
What amazed me about this are the lengths God goes in order to care for his people.
The cloud he created during the day would provide shade from the hot sun. The fire at night would provide light and warmth. And the canopy of his glory above the cloud or fire would protect them from any storm or rain. So not only were they physically cared for and protected, but at any moment the people of God could look up and literally see evidence of God’s closeness to them, his love for them, and his favor upon them.
This is the God we serve! A God who delights in caring for us, in loving us, in providing for us, in protecting us. And after a rocky and rebellious past, God is faithful to continually remind us that we stand forgiven and are forever his children. For the Israelites it was the manifested presence of God above them, and for us it is the very Spirit of God dwelling inside us as a continual reminder of God’s love for us and the promise of what’s to come.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Meditate on the lengths God has gone in order to show me his love!
God, thank you for your great love and faithfulness! You are my all in all! Thank you for pursuing me even when I was rebelling against you. Thank you for choosing me before I could choose you. Thank you for the cross! Thank you for saving me and setting me free. Thank you for filling me with joy in your presence, giving me purpose and choosing to forever dwell inside me! You are good!! Amen.