Israel experienced God’s presence in their journey through the desert in the form of a cloud and a pillar of fire. The cloud served as an umbrella against the heat of the sun; and the fire as light to show them the way in the dark of the night. God’s mercy, love and faithfulness to Abraham were fulfilled many years later in Abraham’s descendant. In His mercy, God was to Israel a shield of protection. One reason why God took Israel the long way to the Promised Land was to create in them a righteous nation, from whom He would send His only Son. They were to shine the light of the only true God to all nations through all the signs and wonders they had experienced. In that period of forty years, Israel experienced the presence of God in a supernatural way when He came down to Mount Sinai. It was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked. There He spoke to them in an audible voice. They saw then the glory of His holiness, for which they trembled in fear. After they had lived four hundred years in a land of so many pagan gods, Israel had adopted them for themselves and their spiritual condition had deteriorated and in need for transformation. Only through the long way through the desert, they would not have gone back to Egypt and through the miracles God had performed in their midst Israel’s spiritual eyes were opened to believe in the existence of the true God.