Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journey. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40: 36-37
A few weeks ago I found that passage and for a moment I couldn’t breathe. I had just spoken with a friend and said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. God has given me work to do, but each morning I feel as though I’ve got a heavy cloud rising over me and I can’t seem to move. I’ve never felt this way before, and for the past year I haven’t done anything to move ‘onward’ with the desires of my heart.”
“Don’t worry” she said, “God will show you the reason why you haven’t moved onward and when it’s time, you will!”
She was right.
After we spoke I turned on my computer and immediately went to a daily devotional that I read each morning. It was there where I was reminded… Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journey. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40: 36-37
For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about what God reminded me of, and I realized that a cloud was the well-know symbol of the Divine Presence.
If one were to google the definition of cloud within the Bible one would find…
CLOUD/BIBLE: The Hebrew so rendered means “a covering,” because clouds cover the sky. The word is used as a symbol of the Divine presence, as indicating the splendor of that glory which it conceals ( Exodus 16:10 ; 33:9 ; Numbers 11:25 ; 12:5 ; Job 22:14 ; Psalms 18:11 ). A “cloud without rain” is a proverbial saying, denoting a man who does not keep his promise ( Proverbs 16:15 ; Isaiah 18:4 ; 25:5 ; Jude 1:12 ). A cloud is the figure of that which is transitory ( Job 30:15 ; Hosea 6:4 ). A bright cloud is the symbolical seat of the Divine presence (Ex.29:42,43;1 Kings 8:10 ; 2 Chr 5:14 ; Ezekiel 43:4 ), and was called the Shechinah (q.v.). Jehovah came down upon Sinai in a cloud ( Exodus 19:9 ); and the cloud filled the court around the tabernacle in the wilderness so that Moses could not enter it ( Exodus 40:34 Exodus 40:35 ). At the dedication of the temple also the cloud “filled the house of the Lord” ( 1 Kings 8:10 ). Thus in like manner when Christ comes the second time he is described as coming “in the clouds” ( Matthew 17:5 ; 24:30 ; Acts 1:9 Acts 1:11 ). False teachers are likened unto clouds carried about with a tempest ( 2 Peter 2:17 ). The infirmities of old age, which come one after another, are compared by Solomon to “clouds returning after the rain” (Eccl 12:2 ). The blotting out of sins is like the sudden disappearance of threatening clouds from the sky ( Isaiah 44:22 ). Cloud, the pillar of, was the glory-cloud which indicated God’s presence leading the ransomed people through the wilderness ( Exodus 13:22 ; Exodus 33:9 Exodus 33:10 ). This pillar preceded the people as they marched, resting on the ark ( Exodus 13:21 ; 40:36 ). By night it became a pillar of fire ( Numbers 9:17-23 ).
Then this morning happened…
When I awoke I realized that my cloud had been lifted and that I wasn’t a failure in not working on my hearts desire, but that God didn’t want me to move yet. I needed this past year to be still. I needed to listen to Him to understand that the things God created me to do were His things and not mine, and that by His silencing my heart I would know that it’s not my “will” that will complete these things, but my understanding of the things that He created me to do that will allow me to complete them.
Looking back, I wish I would have spent this past year not worrying about why things were not happening, but spent more time understanding that everything that God calls me to do will happen in His time and not my time.
I’m so excited now to move “onward by faith” in God’s timing— and to be honest… I will never look at a cloud the same way. Just as rainbows were created for a symbol to remind us that God will never flood the earth again… Clouds were created to remind us of the Divine Presence of God and if we follow Him we will arrive exactly where He wants us to be and we will arrive on time!
Onward By Faith!