Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am (Isaiah 58:8,9).
Not only does our Savior go before us on lifes journey, He also protects behind us. Like the Shekinah glory cloud of old, He is a light to lead by day and a pillar of fire behind us to guard by night.
The picturesque old English term rereward, sometimes written rearward, actually meant rear guard. Thus Gods glory, like the glory cloud in the wilderness, is the Christians rear guard as he advances. The cloud was identified also as the angel of God, who both went before the camp of Israel, then removed and went behind them (Exodus 14:19). Note also the following gracious assurance: For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward (Isaiah 52:12).
We also, if we listen, can hear His word, both leading us in front and directing our steps behind. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21). This was how it was with the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos. I was in the Spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet (Revelation 1:10).
With an infallible guide going before us and an invincible guard behind us, why should we hesitate to follow Christ? He both leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake, and then also assures me that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:3,6). HMM