“Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.”- Isaiah 4:5-6
We do not often see justice as a mercy. We rarely have eyes to see judgment as an instrument of grace. But floods and fires do more than just punish the wicked. They are a means of cleansing and renewal. Here in Isaiah we see the branch of the LORD rising up out of the ashes to a position of beauty and glory. The faithful are not only saved, but they are given over them a cloud by day and a fire by night, “for over all the glory there will be a canopy” to protect His people from the heat and the storm. This imagery takes us back to the first exodus when God’s judgment of the Egyptians was the means by which He delivered His people. There, too, He covered them with a cloud and a fire. This is how redemption works. The LORD judges, He calls out, He glorifies, and He covers.
Today, in the midst of various sources of heat or wind or rain, remember the redemption story into which you have been called. God has judged the wickedness of your heart in the death of Christ. God has rescued you from the tyranny and oppression of your sin. God has given you a glory that radiates from the glory of the risen Christ. God has provided a covering that will lead and protect you along the way. Cloudy days are glory days. Dark nights make for great bonfires. He is to us, today and forever, a glory and a covering.