The people of Israel slowly packed up their tents one more time to follow the moving cloud. To some it was a hassle to be moving again, to others it was exciting. A desert is a good metaphor for life. It is difficult sometimes and hard to negotiate. Sometimes its hard to see where to go or to orientate ourselves. It can be hard to make progress but there is always the hope a better day beyond the desert.
As they shuffled forward, everyone kept their eye on the Rock. In was their source of life in the desert and had come to represent the Lord Himself. Moses even called God “the Rock” and while it may seem strange, to call God a Rock, it made perfect sense to people who lived their whole life in a desert. In a desert, rocks are your best friend. It’s a hiding place from the harsh desert storms, be they sand or rain. The rock is a refuge from the floods; it is a rock that is higher that you. ( Psalms 61:2) The rock is a defense against your enemies. It is the best vantage point for vision if you can’t see where to go next. The rock is a shade from the burning heat of the midday sun and it was a welcoming place to rest. Earlier Moses himself had learned that the only way a man can meet with God and not die is to stand in the cleft rock, that God provides.( Exodus 33:22)
Eventually the ancient story tells us that the Rock brought them home to their inheritance. The Apostle Paul tells us Christ was that Rock in the desert and when Jesus came out of His rock tomb in resurrection life, he became the Rock of our salvation.
Friend, He is all we need in this desert – live by, stand on, hide in and depend on our Rock. He will bring you home.