“While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked towards the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud”.

Ex 16:10 NIV

Modern readers tend to overlook the references in the Bible to the glory of God. We don’t quite know what it is. Still less do we expect to witness or experience God’s glory. It is one of the main themes of the scriptures. There is something mysterious and otherworldly about it. Basically it refers to the aura of light which the ancients believed to surround the presence of God. When God appeared – there was his glory.

And in the middle of the hazardous journey the Israelites made through the desert, there – of all things – was the glory of God. There aren’t many clouds in the desert. Clouds betoken rain, and deserts are dry. But this cloud was different. It spoke to them of the presence with them of God. No wonder God’s glory was part of the cloud. It was a visible sign of his presence, of his guidance, and of his provision for their needs. It also meant that he was exercising his unfailing love. Who would have thought that the desert would have been the place where he would manifest his presence? Most would probably have thought of it as “that godless empty waste”.

Most of us have deserts to go through. For some of us it is only occasionally. For others it occupies much of our earthly journey. Look for the presence and glory of God. Even the cloud of darkness or gloom may conceal God’s glory. A period of loneliness, or failure, or unemployment, or financial strain, or conflict, or doubt, may be your desert. Keep looking for the glory.


Lord, help me to find your glory in my desert.