Leviticus is the third of these five books of Moses, and therefore stands in the very middle of the Pentateuch. Leviticus has to do primarily with the sacrifices and offerings, and so placing it in the middle of the five books of Moses may be a way of saying that sacrifices stand at the very heart of the Old Testament religion. They also point to the very heart of Christianity, because all of the sacrifices are fulfilled and brought to completion by Jesus Christ. And His death on the cross stands at the very heart of Christianity. 

The Holy Spirit is given to us to enable us to follow as God leads and as we follow, to know that we are protected from all enemies. Nothing will ever happen to us that does not first pass through the will of God, and that whatever happens according to the will of God is ultimately for our good. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28). To follow the Lord in obedience to His commands, knowing that He always watches over and protects us, is our opportunity and our joy. 

The cloud was also God’s means for guidance. That was clear from some of the passages we read. When the cloud rose up from over the tabernacle and began to move off, the people were supposed to move off, too. When the cloud stopped the people were to stop. As Nehemiah says, “By day the pillar of cloud did not cease to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night, to shine on the way they were to take” (v. 19). Another passage that gives more detail is Numbers 9:15-23.

God’s revealing Himself in the cloud culminates in the coming of Jesus Christ. You may recall that at the very beginning of John’s Gospel, John uses this very language, harkening back to Exodus, to talk about the incarnation. Speaking of Jesus, John writes, “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (1:14). Revelation 21 gives us the fulfillment of this idea of God’s dwelling among us. In verse 3 the apostle John wrote, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and will be their God.’” Through the appearing of the cloud in Exodus, God was teaching them about His presence in a preliminary, rudimentary, visible, and dramatic way for the people of Israel. 

Now we have to ask something about this cloud and try to figure out what it was like. They called it a cloud but the only reason they did so was because they really didn’t have any word in their vocabulary to describe it.