One of my new favorite devotionals is entitled, "Streams In The Desert." As I was reading last week during my time with the Lord, I was drawn to the daily verse which read, "The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness, where God was." (Exodus 20:21) italics mine. I never thought much about this verse. The majority of the time I am focused on what proceeds the verse which is the Ten Commandments. At the time this verse in Exodus 20 captured my attention, I happened to be sitting by my window observing the grey clouds in the sky. What stood out to me in this verse is that God is found in the "thick darkness." We don't often link God and darkness in the same sentence. John declares, "This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) Although there is no darkness in God Himself, we sometimes have a hard time seeing Him. The meditation that day from "Streams In The Desert" encouraged the believer to,"Forge ahead in the darkness without flinching, knowing that under the shelter of the cloud, God is waiting for you. Additionally a poem followed the meditation the theme of which emphasized that God sometimes comes in the clouds. I share with you that poem, "Have you a cloud? Something that is dark and full of dread; A messenger of tempest overhead? A something that is darkening the sky; A something growing darker by and by; A something that you're fearful will burst at last; A cloud that does a deep, long shadow cast? God's coming in that cloud.
Have you a cloud? It is Jehovah's triumph care in this; He's riding to you, o'er the wide abyss. It is the robe in which He wraps His form; For He does dress Him with the flashing storm. It is the veil in which He hides the light, of His face fair, too dazzling for your sight. God's coming in that cloud.
Have you a cloud? A trial that is terrible to thee? A dark temptation threatening to see? A loss of some dear one long your own? A mist, a veiling, bringing the unknown?
A mystery that insubstantial seems: A cloud between you and the sun's bright beams? God's coming in that cloud.
Have you a cloud? A sickness--weak old age---distress and death? These clouds will scatter at your last faint breath. Fear not the clouds that hover o'er your boat, Making the harbor's entrance woeful to float; The cloud of death, though misty, chill and cold,
Will yet grow radiant with a fringe of gold. GOD's coming in that cloud." The last line of this poem is an encouragement because it reinforces what Jesus told His disciples about His return, They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30b) The book of Revelation adds, "Look He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
We have a tendency to long for cloudless skies. This is what we call a "picture perfect day." When clouds approach we become disappointed and at times anxious especially when those clouds are dark, signaling possible stormy weather. But Moses was not afraid to approach the darkness because he knew God was there. So, the next time the clouds roll in and you're stumbling around in the darkness don't be afraid because, "GOD's coming in that cloud!"
Soli Deo Gloria!