<< The Cloud >>
''I do set My bow in the cloud.'' Gen. ix. I3.
The Divine Truth is the pure white light of heaven. As it touches and breaks upon man's limitations and finiteness (the cloud) it breaks into all the colors and shadings of human thought and of the human concepts of Truth Divine.
" The cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony. " Numb. x. 11 .
Into each life there steal glimpses of beautiful light when the cloud is swiftly lifted, and man sees clearly, even though it be but for a brief moment, the holy realization of the Divine purpose that weaves and heaves beneath and through all his life, through all its hopes and fears, its failures and successes.
"And a cloud covered the mountain.'' Exodus xxiv. 15.
The Divine Love acts deeply concealed in the silent and most sacred recesses of the soul.
"And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle the sons of Israel went onward on their journey ; but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not until the day that it was taken.” Exodus xl. 36, 37.
Man is not always perfectly conscious and fully aware of the things which control his life. It may seem to him that he moves forward on his pilgrimage whenever he pleases, or when he wills, or when his environment impels him, or when his neighbor asks him. But true as this may be of his outer life it is not true of the inner verity of his life. That reality, that inner verity, which is the man himself, — that moves only when the cloud moves. As man's concept of the literal Word changes, so changes his attitude toward God, and so the direction of his pilgrimage. And the literal Word is written not only in types and letters which we may call Hebrew or Greek, Anglo-Saxon or German. It is written by the same Hand and under the same Spirit into rocks and trees and stars ; into the songs of birds ; into the hum of a spindle and the falling of a trip-hammer ; into the face of a human being and into the sculptured beauty of a nymph. For nature and its outward things and tokens are but the cloud that hide Deity, even as the literal Word hides Deity. Let your concept of nature lift and move forward and your concept of God will not be far behind ; and as that moves, so moves the soul through the pilgrimage of life.
" Behold, Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud, and shall come into Egypt : and the idols of Egypt shall be moved before Him, and the heart of Egypt shall melt within it.” Isaiah xix. l.
The literal Word serves as a basis upon which the Divine can rest. It is the means whereby that love can reach all parts of the mind ; even the outmost mind can it reach, and remove thence those false concepts of human life and that unkindness toward itself to which that outer mind is prone.
''He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, before the people.” Exodus xiii. 22.
The literal expression of the Divine Truth must needs appear obscure to some and perfectly intelligible to others. Even in an individual life there must be states in which the Divine Truth in its ultimate form, as God Writes it into the rocks and stars and trees — into the faces and hands of his children — into the literal histories of His Good Book — will appear obscure or clear, as the case may be, to the same mind. It would not be so very impossible a thing that to a mind in which the light of self-consciousness has made it seem like day the literal story should appear obscure ; while to that same mind, when the darkness of doubt has closed in upon it like night, and when it has lost faith in itself, the love of the Lord should shine forth " like a flame of fire." Whether it be so or not so the pillar of cloud and of fire will not leave man — whether man's life be bright or dark ; whether it be day or night with him.
''And the cloud filled the inner court.'' Ezekiel x. 3.
With some minds the literal forms of truth occupy only the outer halls of memory — but with others the letter has entered more deeply into the life, and has become more intensely imbued with the spirit.
''And the clouds are the dust of His feet.” Nahum i. 3.
And the literal sense is the ultimate form of this Divine Truth in the natural degree.
"And I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like unto the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before Him. " Daniel vii. 13.
Out of literal concepts will there be evolved in and for and by man a true ideal of humanity — and as it develops it inevitably develops inward, into the deeper reaches of his consciousness, to meet there the concept of Divinity which he has formed for himself. In every man the Son of Man and the Ancient of Days presently meet within the cloud — and of the humanity so approached to Divinity will man build up such a concept of the Divine-humanity as will meet the requirements of his reasoning mind and of his hidden will.
''And a voice came from the clouds.” Matthew xvii. 5.
All revelation of Divine Truth is from the literal sense of the Word.
" Ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Mark xiv. 62.
The Divine Truth makes its Second Advent into the world by a revelation of the internal sense of the Word shining through its letter.
“Clothed with a cloud.'' Revelation x. l.
A form of inner verity concealed within some external fact.
Author: A. Roeder (1900)