Reading today the second half of this verse struck my eye. It seems that the Israelites traveled day and night. Imagine! A million people! Small children and pregnant women! Surly teens and overworked parents! Day and night! Makes me weary just thinking about it!
But God was there.
He may not have saved them from the work -- He could have, but He didn't.
He had His purposes for them to have to work hard for their freedom. I imagine it had to do with trust of God. If things were easy for them, they would not have to trust God so fully. They could have escaped in their own strength, and not have had to work to become the devoted, obedient believers they were in the process of becoming.
How much like the Israelites I am! I need constant reminders of God's love, my own pillar of fire!
And God graciously provides! He is always, always, always there. He is always leading me, whether I am traveling light -- or with the baggage of a thousand sad days, a thousand bad choices, a thousand moments of uncertainty -- or a thousand-pound bad attitude.
He doesn't promise the journey will be easy, but He promises to be there.
Just as God led the Israelites day and night, He will lead me...if I let Him.
But the people You redeemed, You led in merciful love; You guided them under your protection to Your holy pasture. - Exodus 15:13 (The Message)