Advice to the Graduates from Exodus Chapter 13

Saturday Morning Devotional

It is hard to believe that this is my last graduating class as a high school counselor, so I would like to offer a little advice to the graduates from Exodus chapter 13.

A dramatic cloud formation releases heavy rain over a lush green landscape, with a vibrant rainbow arching beneath the cloudburst against a backdrop of a deep blue sky. Like advice to the graduates, this image captures the contrast between challenges and bright opportunities.
Picture from Unsplash

As a high school counselor, I have had the privilege to get to see many students go from intimidated Freshmen to confident graduates who are ready to take on the world. Before they all head out, I would like to offer them all a bit of advice.

A Brief History of the Israelites Wandering in the Book of Exodus

  • The people of Israel were in bondage for over 400 years in the land of Egypt, a foreign land to them.
  • Moses heard about the hardships the children of Israel were going through.
  • Moses’ father-in-law Jethro gave him good advice to return to help them.
  • Moses became the people’s representative and approached Pharaoh (the king of Egypt).
  • Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not let them go.
  • God’s powerful hand performed many miracles, signs, and wonders., but Pharaoh still wouldn’t let them leave.
  • The final sign was the Passover. The people of Israel covered their door frames with the blood of the lamb, which protected them from the death angel.
  • All of the first born were killed that night, but the Israelites were safe.
  • Pharaoh and all of Egypt were heart-broken, and he told them they could leave, but he quickly changed his mind and went after them.
  • They pursued them to the Red Sea where the Power of God showed up and sent a strong east wind to split the Red Sea.  They walked over on dry ground.
  • When the Pharaoh’s army and the chariots of Egypt entered the Red Sea, the Lord sent the water back on them, and the Israelites made it safely.
  • They were headed to the Promised Land, but despite the miracles they had already seen and the leadership of Moses, they let fear take over.
  • There was an easier access, but because they didn’t trust the Lord, they ended up wandering through the wilderness for 40 years.
  • The Spirit of God led them every step of the way, and gave them everything they needed.
  • He led them with a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.

Advice to the Graduates

When our son, Jacob, graduated from high school many years ago, our daughter made him a beautiful scrapbook with pictures and letters from people who loved him. As another school year comes to an end, I would like to share a portion of the letter I wrote to Jacob with all of the current graduates. I feel like this is what the Lord laid on my heart to share back then as well as now. I have excluded all of the personal parts of the letter.

A Letter of Advice to My Son – as a Graduate

From this point on, you will have the same obstacles, challenges, and successes, only at a different level. This is why more than ever, you will need to stay on God’s path. This word is for you!

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”
Exodus 13:21

I want you to keep the wandering Israelites in mind as you make decisions in life. Remember that they were in the desert with extreme heat, a shortage of food and water, and cold conditions at night. This would make 40 years unbearable. However, God was everything they needed.

During the day, He was a cloud to cover them and shield them from the heat. At night, He was a pillar of fire to lighten the darkness and to keep them warm. All of this was only available to them when they stayed on His path.

He also provided food and water while they were on the path. He miraculously had water come gushing from a rock, while bread and quail actually fell from the sky. When it came down to it, it was a matter of common sense. If they had not been where God was sending the food and water, they would not have received it.

An inspirational quote from Numbers 9:21 is displayed against a backdrop of a cloudy sky with rays of sunlight piercing through. The quote details the movement of the cloud from evening to morning, offering advice to the graduates on guidance and perseverance. The website "www.homewithgraceandjoy.com" is visible at the bottom.

As you take steps throughout your life, please remember that God is the same now as He was then. He not only provides protection for you, He IS your Protection. He is also your Provider. Just like us, He only wants what is best for you; He will send it too. Just be sure you are on His path so that you will be able to receive His blessings abundantly!

“What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”
Isaiah 46:11b

Songs With Advice to the Graduates

There are so many wonderful songs that give great advice for graduates. I couldn’t just choose one, but I was able to get it narrowed down to three. Listen to these:

“My Wish for You” by Rascal Flatts

“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack

“Nothing to Prove” by Phillips, Craig, & Dean

Quotes for Graduates

quote and Bible verse from Isaiah 60:22

Success quotes for advice for graduates

A Gift to Download


I want to offer this E-book download as a free gift in the rest of the month of May for anyone who wants it. This is a thank you for supporting “Home with Grace and Joy” this past year. I hope you know someone who will enjoy it.

Advice To All Graduates

As you set out to take on the world and pursue your own Promised Land, let the Lord lead you every step of the way! Look for the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Let Him direct your steps, and you will find true success and joy. 

If you ever find yourself off course and wandering in the desert, turn back to the Word of God, seek good advice, find a good local church, and get back under the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night! That is where you will find the peace of God.

I wish you all the best!

A circular green background sits in the center with the text, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3." The left side of the image features a floral pattern. Advice to the graduates is found at www.homewithgraceandjoy.com at the bottom.


Related Posts

If you are still looking for ideas for the graduates in your life, see the post I shared after taking a survey with my seniors. You will find it here – What What Do Graduates Really Want?

Becky Jordan has written a great post entitled, “Prayer for Graduates in These Challenging Times.”

Until next week…

A delicate circular floral wreath encircles the message "have a grace & joy-filled day—controlling the tongue!" with the name "susan" below, all depicted in soft brown and green

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

.(Old Testament)

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“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.” Psalms 94:19

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  1. Wow, what a great gift to give your son and message to share with everyone graduating this time of year, Susan. I think we forget sometimes how scary graduating can be and I know this message of hope and encouragement will be greatly appreciated. I’m going to bookmark it for the days I need a little pep talk too! Hugs,CoCo

    1. You’re so right – it sure is a scary time. They are facing so many unknowns! It’s exciting and scary at the same time. 😃

  2. This is great advice. A verse I like to put on graduation cards is Psalm 16:11:
    You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  3. Thank you from your Vroom Vroom Team for sharing your links with us at #262 SSPS Linky. Please check back weekly to see if featured on the blog post or by any co-hosts.

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