a great day for watching the clouds.
“Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.” Numbers 9:17 NIV
Much of our daily life is controlled by signs and signals. If we are driving a car, signs tell us where things are, what to look out for ahead, and control our direction as well as our speed. Traffic lights tell us when to stop and when to go. Things would be chaotic without guidance and every sign or signal has a purpose that we need to pay attention to in order to navigate our streets and highways in safety and arrive at our destination as planned.
As the people of Israel moved away from Egypt on their way to the land promised them by God, it was necessary for them to have signals as well. While it is true that there was very little “traffic” in the middle of nowhere, they still required direction and instruction which God provided in much the same way as we use traffic signals.
A pillar of cloud formed over the tabernacle after it was set up. At night, the cloud would take on the appearance of a pillar of fire which would provide light for the Israelites and would help to keep them safe. During the daylight hours, it would revert back to a pillar of cloud. When the cloud began to move, that was the signal for the Israelites to move as well. All they had to do to know they were heading in the right direction was follow it. When it stopped, they were to stop. Green light, go. Red light, stop.
Very convenient and very safe for all of them. There was no guess work. As to what they should be doing other than watching the cloud, God provided Moses for instruction. Even when they were stopped, God had a purpose for them and Moses led them to it. Signs and signals. “So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.” (Numbers 9:23 NLT).
We have no cloud other than the ones God paints in the sky to bring us rain, to shield us from the sun, or simply to demonstrate the beauty that He creates. We have no Moses to give us instruction. So where do we look for direction and instruction?
We pick up the Bible, we clear our minds, we open up our hearts and we read. Every instruction we need is there. Every turn we should take in our lives is in there as well. Giving us determination and focus, the Bible will tell us when to move, which direction to go in, and when to stop and rest.
And then we can take a little time for cloud watching.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson