The Cloud of God

36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 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.”    Exodus 40:36-38

 

When I read this the other day I was amazed. I had forgotten that God was visibly present to the Children of Israel for the forty years they wandered the wilderness.  A cloud by day and fire by night were the signs that God was with them every hour of every day.  That’s a fantastic thing!  And a scary thing too!

When I was in the theatre, we were always tempted to peak between the curtains and look over the audience. The stage manager would come around and chase us away.

“If you can see them, they can see you! Knock it off!!”

The Jews could see God. That should have been a reminder that He could see them.  Did it make any difference? No.  They still sinned and brought punishments on themselves.

Not only that, but at this point in Exodus, they had seen God on Mt. Sinai and Moses’ face shining like a 60 watt bulb. They had made a Golden Calf, watched Moses brun it, and had to drink the ashes in water as penance.  During a rebellion they saw God open the earth to take the rebels down into its depths.

They still couldn’t keep it together; I’m hungry! Where’s the beef?  We had meat in Egypt.  They turned on Moses and God.  Take us back to Egypt!  It wasn’t so bad!

God has saved my life three times…that I’m aware of. How many more times did I ignorantly go along, oblivious to the fact that I was a dead man but for His intervention?  I know this!  And how many times have asked Him just what the heck He thinks He’s doing?

Like I know anything.

Let’s go another step. How many people do you see during the day?  Dozens?  Hundreds?  More?  Sometimes I’ll be in a spot where I have a good view of, oh, cars going by, the crowd at a mall, and I’ll watch someone who intrigues me for some reason.  I know they have no idea they are being deliberately observed.  How many times are those roles reversed with me as the one observed.

Like the time I helped a guy who was completely down and out. Or the time I was yelling at someone who almost hit me in my car.  Later I realized that there was that window clingy in the rear window of my car, advertising my church.

*oops* Big time!

When people are watching you, what do they see? God or the devil?  Who does God see?  Himself or something that makes Him regret that promise about no more Floods?

Who do you want them to see?

There are no more pillars of smoke and fire. That was for a people who were just finding out who this Guy is.  We have thousands of years of history and the Bible as our pillars.  We too should know that God sees us.  All…the…time.

I saw this week a video of a cat who was trying to get something out of a drawer. He had no idea he was being watched and recorded.  Suddenly he heard someone there, and he snapped his head around.  He froze and stared back with very big eyes while he slowly withdrew his paw from the door.

“No ma’am. Not my paw in there.  I had no idea what it thought it was doing.  I’m just sitting here.  This is not the feline felon you were looking for.  Move along.  Move along.”

If we’re smart, we’ll remember we’re visible and stick our paw in the drawer. If we remember mid-caper, hopefully we’ll at least stop.  Unfortunately, we are too often like another cat who looks, sees, and, with a face that says, “What’s it to you?” before jumping completely into that drawer like a kid jumping into the ball pool at a McDonald’s playground.

I C U!

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