Your Rear Guard
Life really is a journey, isn't it?
There are stretches when we march on fearlessly-times we feel indefatigable. And there are slices of wilderness we wander through that simply wear us out and make us feel like we won't make it.
We often can't see the final destination; we simply march on out of trust. Because the journey is daily and long, there are many times we can become fatigued.
When the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness for so many years, there were those who wore out. There were people who couldn't always quite keep up. It was because they were tired, weak, infirmed or maybe even lazy. Because they lagged at the rear, they were exceptionally vulnerable to the enemy attack.
For that reason, the tribe of Dan (Numbers 10:25) was tasked with pulling up the rear. In other words, they were the "rear guard." They were there to protect the tired stragglers from being such an easy target for the enemy.
We're no different from those Israelites. We journey. We get tired. We can find ourselves straggling and barely making it. Sometimes it's because we're just overwhelmed; sometimes it's fatigue or sickness that drags us down. Sometimes, we even get there on our own-our inattentiveness or laziness can put us in prime position to become easy prey.
Just like the Israelites needed the tribe of Dan to protect the rear while they journeyed, we, too, need protection as we journey through the stretches and slices of our lives. That is what God does for us. He becomes our rear guard. Isaiah 52:12 says," ...For the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard."
Just think of it--God Himself is your rear guard. He protects you from a frontal attack because He shields you, and He covers your back because He is your rear guard. What a beautiful picture!
If you find yourself in one of those long stretches on your journey where you're struggling or straggling, look behind you. You will see that you're not alone, but rather, protected and preserved by God Himself.
And, God not only offers protection, but He also gives a promise..."Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8) I love that!
Well, that's what's been percolating in me lately.