Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

God in the Clouds

As you know, I’m starting a Bible study on the Old Testament Tabernacle. In it, I came across some really interesting passages that I had never before thought of together.

In the days after God led the Israelites out of Egypt, God guided the nation by a pillar of cloud (Exodus 13:21). (I looked up “pillar.” The Hebrew word means a column. The same word is used again for the pillar of fire.)

The Bible repeats the cloud theme in some fascinating passages. Here are a few of them:
  • Ezekiel 1:28—The prophet falls on his face after seeing a rainbow that emanates from a cloud and hearing God’s voice.
  • Ezekiel 10:3-4—Ezekiel has a vision of the inner court. There’s a cloud with cherubs and the brightness of God’s glory.
  • Matthew 17:5, Luke 9:34-35—God’s voice comes out of a bright cloud and proclaims, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (This scene is the transfiguration of Christ.)
  • Luke 21:27—Jesus will return “in a cloud with power and great glory.”
  • Acts 1:9—When Jesus ascended into heaven, the Bible says “a cloud received him out of their sight.”
  • Revelation 14:14-16 describes Jesus sitting on a “white cloud,” sickle in hand.

When I read these, I was struck by the theme of clouds at such important times, of course, but also by the idea that “light” or “God’s glory” or “brightness” is associated with the clouds, illustrating God’s presence. These aren’t dark, looming, threatening clouds. They’re bright, happy clouds. When God shows Himself to man, He does it with light!

That reminds me of the verse, God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (from 1 John 1:5).

God lead Israel with a pillar of bright cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. His presence was readily seen by anyone in the camp. God showed Himself to His people in a palpable way. He displayed His glory. He lead them. He rested over the Tabernacle. The Israelites could see a sample of His presence with them—day and night.

All through Scripture, God reveals Himself in the clouds, in bright clouds, in white clouds. I think it is so great that God lets us envision Him through natural things (clouds, in this case) that we understand, things we know about.
  • Clouds . . . God’s glory.
  • Rainbows out of a cloud . . . God’s promise.
  • Voices out of clouds . . . God’s revelation.
  • Jesus ascended into a cloud and will return in a cloud.
  • He will judge the world, enthroned on a cloud. 

Clouds full of Light!
In him is no darkness at all.

(I’d like to invite you this month to S.E.R.V.A.N.T. Sisters. In January, they’re featuring salvation testimonies. Mine’s there now, but if you haven’t yet read it, you might want to go there today. If you have, try it in a few days. I think you’ll enjoy their site.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts.