Yesterday morning at Rock we heard a great 'Family Focus' presentation from Auriel. Part of a series on Israel from Egypt to Promised Land, this one focussed on the cloud of the Lord's presence and the frequent changes of camp that the people had to make.
A couple of well-chosen Powerpoint slides pictured the camp itself, and the 40 places the Israelites camped were stuck on the backs of people's chairs round the room. The cloud/fire was mounted on a stick for demonstration purposes, and the stick was then revealed to be a cross after the kids had been led around the hall by the cloud/fire. Informative paraphenalia that supported the main point without being distracting - hurrah.
And talk about class typology! The ongoing protection and guidance of God was stressed - we can have confidence of that now as we are 'wandering' because He was faithful to the people back then, and now we know even more and have the Holy Spirit.
I am quite alert to this application at the moment because I am reading lots of Christian Zionists of various flavours and at various intellectual levels, and one common theme in their writings is that the church can have confidence in God now because of his ongoing protection of Jews now. Theologically, this seems to be looking at the wrong phase of history, and historically I don't see much special protection from which we can take comfort between AD70 and AD1948. The theological argument is rather stronger, since the interpretation of history is more controverted and epistemologically trickier than interpretation of the texts of Scripture (for one thing, the data are less reliable!) but the historical observation still seems a strong anti-Zionist point.