The Cloud That Surrounds And The Cloud Within
“For I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God’s Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea,” 1 Corinthians 10:1 Amplified Bible
Paul reminds us of the experience of the Hebrews when they were delivered out of the hands of Egypt. By all appearances, things must have looked grim to them when they came upon the Red Sea with the army of Pharaoh closing in behind them. They walked in the protection of the cloud. We know that throughout the wilderness the Hebrews were guided by the cloud by day and the fire by night. It was that cloud that they walked in as they went through the trials of daily life, following Him. They were protected by the cloud as they crossed the Sea. What was the cloud? It was the presence of God.
We need to remember that we have an even better, more detailed and powerful covenant than they did. When they walked in the cloud and were protected by His presence, it was indeed a cloud. It was that which was external and surrounded them. The presence of God surrounded them like a cloud, enveloping them and keeping them safe and always secure, whether they realized the protective covering was there or not.
But we have it even better. Yes, we walk in His presence and surrounding protection at all times, but the cloud (the presence of the Lord) is not just around us, it is indeed within us as well. Not only do we have the surrounding protection they had, but we also have the assurances within us. We have the calm, the peace, the voice of the Lord giving us words of comfort as we move forward in Him, through the Sea. He will guide us and direct us so that we can know what to do and what is going on, even when that is not apparent to the natural mind. He is the presence within us that is continually speaking to us. As it is expressed to us in John 10, He is the shepherd that speaks to His sheep and calls them by name, and we, the sheep, hear His voice. As we hear His voice He leads us out into the day and into the fields where we are safe and have an abundance of all that we need.
The Hebrews had the cloud around them protecting them, but since it was not within them, they had to rely on the man, Moses, to hear the Lord’s leading on their behalf. You have the Holy Spirit speaking to you every single day of your life in Him!
We have a relationship with the Lord, with the Shepherd as we go through the trials of life. The Hebrews just had the cloud that covered them in safety. You and I as believers in Jesus have the cloud both surrounding us and within us. You have the Holy Spirit speaking words of direction, and comfort to you as you proceed.
J Todd Hostetler