Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Kingdom Clouds

The hydrologic cycle is water in movement, the water cycle describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. The water cycle is truly a "cycle," there is no beginning or end. Water can change states among liquid, vapour, and ice at various places in the water cycle, with these processes happening in the blink of an eye. The most vivid image of this is in the evaporation of water from the ocean, which forms clouds. These clouds drift over the land and produce rain. The rainwater flows into lakes, rivers, or aquifers. The water in lakes, rivers, and aquifers then either evaporates back to the atmosphere or eventually flows back to the ocean, completing a cycle. Job 26:8 "He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it." Job 37:11 "Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds."

The most poignant of cloud images is contained in the story of the people of Israel traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land. Exodus 13:21-22 "...and the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people." Exodus 40:36-38 "Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." The cloud was indicative of God's provision, protection and assurance of His presence throughout their travels. It was their guidance for the times and places of their travel.

The cloud was also a indicator of God's personal presence, His Spirit dwelling in and resting upon those whom He chose to lead His people. Numbers 11:25 "Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him (Moses), and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied,..." This is called the 'shechinah' glory, the 'place of God's abode', the cloud is unlike any other cloud, it would not have created shade, being it held the Glory of God, however its depth or darkness was sufficient to conceal or protect from observers the fullness of that Glory. It would have been rolling, unfurling, constantly unfolding as it constrained the awesome power and revelation of God's Glory, a fire, God withholding Himself, yet desiring to reveal His fullness, His love, His grace, His mercy.
Matthew 17:5 "...behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"

Matthew 16:2-3 "He (Jesus)answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times." Living on the Prairies allows the enjoyment of watching clouds, they can appear ominous and threatening, they can be of varieties having expectations of refreshment and renewal, they tell of events happening in other locations, they are harbingers of future weather in the day or night. They bring with them hope and disaster, they can dispel the heat and they can destroy the harvest with their content. They are amazing in their height and breadth, towering, immense, containing both beauty and dread. They are the scenery of the sky, the landscape of the vast expanse of the heavens, the mountains, lakes, streams and rivers of the firmament. Luke 12:54 "Then He also said to the multitudes, "Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming'; and so it is."

A prairie storm is an event of epic proportions, being foretold by the clouds, having an intense, foreboding, and perilous power unique in nature. Luke 21:27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Daniel 7:13-14 "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." The divine authority of the Son of Man exists, His sovereingty is not diminished by His physical absence. His Spirit granting wisdom, discernment; creating patience, fortitude, perseverance; providing courage, faith, hope; pointing to God's lovingkindness, grace, love, provision and protection; encouraging the maintaining, preservation and possession of our souls in holiness; as clouds gather. So many clouded times have passed and deliverance has been the byword of the faithful. The events have been examples of the heavenly and spiritual realities of life lived in unmeasured time, the indicators of the Kingdom of God lived in a physical world under the governance of an apostate ruler. The stressful and distressing times exemplifying the faithfulness of God through all generations, bestowing renewed trust to each succeeding progeny. The clouds will always rise on the horizon, it is part of the cycle, we will always be watchful and take note of the darkness.

Let us be witnesses of the day.

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