Clouds of Glory

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Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  Exodus 40:34-35 (NASB)

It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 
1 Kings 8:10-11 (NASB)

He is God and we are not. We are minuscule in the grand scheme of things. Consider the vastness of the heavens, the universe. Earth is a small part of the cosmos. Each one of us is a tiny part of earth. Still we belong to a Creator who knows our very hearts. He even desires a relationship with us. 

Moses had the benefit of an intimate relationship with Almighty God while also being a conduit for some of the Lord’s most celebrated miracles. In today’s world he would have made the headlines, gaining instant popularity. Yet Moses wasn’t more special than you or me. He simply chose to follow God and obey His direction for the deliverance of the Israelites. 

Consider the many miraculous events Moses experienced. One such encounter involved the Lord’s glory filling up the tabernacle. When Moses had finished erecting a place for God to dwell, His presence in a cloud settled over the tent of meeting and filled the tabernacle to capacity. It was so awesome Moses was unable to enter the tent. Try to envision God’s presence in an enveloping cloud. Imagine the grandeur of God Almighty holding you back from getting close. How did Moses react? What would you have done? 

It’s hard for human beings to grasp the expanse of a mighty God. Still this powerful God reigned in a cloud by day and fire by night as Moses led the Israelites in the wilderness. He never left them. He doesn’t leave us either. 

Many years later God’s splendor resided in the temple Solomon built. The cloud filled the house of the Lord preventing the priests from performing their duties. God’s magnificence overpowered them. Solomon confirmed he had built a lofty house for God while remembering the Lord saying He would dwell in the thick cloud. Imagine the majesty of the Temple built by human hands. Now consider the resplendence of a God-filled cloud occupying the very foundation of human construction. 

Solomon and the assembly of Israel offered up their praises, dedicating the Temple to the Lord. He lifted his hands toward heaven saying, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or earth below.”

King Solomon understood the greatness of God. He continued, “Will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” The king felt humility before an awesome God while also understanding that his Heavenly Father heard his prayer (1 King 8:23-29). He hears our prayers too.

Ireland cloud.JPG

While in Ireland this summer, my family and I felt God’s awesome presence in a cloud. We stood on a sun-draped hill above the ocean, gazing at a distant cloud cover over the horizon. Standing still we noticed it advancing toward us. From end to end this billowing cloud steadily moved over the earth until it enveloped us. Eventually it proceeded over and behind us. Speechless and transfixed we admired God’s glory. We were awed by His presence, humbled by His greatness. When we were able to move again, we simply uttered, “Only God.”

Moses and Solomon understood God’s greatness. They witnessed evidence of His power. I stood within a mighty cloud and felt His presence. Maybe you’ve encountered His magnificence. When we humans are truly aware of God’s majesty, we realize our insignificance. But when we understand how much this supreme God loves and cares for us, we are overwhelmed with humble gratitude. 

God IS great and God IS good. He is a powerful Being who cares for each one of us. He hears our cries and listens to our prayers. Trust and obey Him. Have faith in His ability to take care of your loved ones. He is God and we are not. HE IS ABLE.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infant
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
  Psalm 8 (NIV)

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