Exodus 13:21-22 NKJV
 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.  He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
Exodus 40:38 NKJV
 For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Throughout the Exodus, God led the Israelites with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They had a constant reminder that God was with them. Even so, after seeing all of the miracles that took place for them to flee from Egypt, they took their eyes off of Him when Moses left for a short time and went up to the mountain to worship the Lord. In that short time, they took their eyes (and hearts) off of God’s promise to them and worshiped a man-made golden calf as their God.
Exodus 32:1-4 NKJV
 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”  And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”  So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.  And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
When God addressed the issue with Moses while he was still up on the mountain, He called the people stiff-necked. These are the same people that saw all of the plagues, the waters parted, the Egyptians destroyed, water come from a rock, manna fall from heaven, birds delivered to their doorsteps so they would have meat, and many more miracles. The Israelites had so many examples of God’s love and mercy toward them, let alone the constant pillar of a cloud and of fire, yet still became stiff-necked when a moment of uncertainty happened.
Exodus 32:9 NKJV
 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!
This is a lesson for all of us. We have our own “pillars” of clouds and of fire in our lives by the miracles and God’s grace that we have personally seen. Think about your life and what God has done for you that you can say there was no other way but through a miracle of His hand that could happen. I can think of many in my own life, as I am sure so can you. We have these pillars and moments in our lives as a constant reminder that God is with us and for us. He brings us through every moment of trouble as victorious. Even if this world devours us with all that it has – sickness, pandemics, natural disasters, wars, etc., with Jesus as the center of our lives, God will welcome us into His everlasting kingdom with open arms with the words, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Matthew 25:23 NKJV
 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
John 16:33 NKJV
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
We should have no fear in this world knowing that we serve Jehovah, the Lord Almighty, Wonderful, Counselor and everlasting Father. We can live each day knowing that He is with us and for us and will never turn against us. We have constant reminders of His goodness, that is important for us to reflect on often, all around us of His faithfulness in our own pillars that He has created in our lives. Let us never become stiff-necked by forgetting how His mercy and grace has delivered us in our earthly journey. We have so much to be thankful for!
Take a few moments and create your own “Pillar Journal” for yourself to have your own constant reminders, so when you feel like “Moses went to the mountain,” you have something to reflect on and remember the goodness and faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the constant reminders in my own life of your faithfulness. Help me never to become stiff-necked and forgetful of your goodness. I pray that you would help me daily to spread your love to all those I come in contact with, sharing the testimony of the “pillars” in my life. Amen
I love you and am praying for you today!