Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15- You Gotta Like A Cloudy Day

February 15, 2011

Scripture Readings:
Exodus 39:1-40:38; Mark 1:1-28;
Psalm 35:1-16; Proverbs 9:11-12

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day.  When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May.

Exodus 39:1-40:38

The times I have spent in the American Southwest have been fabulous.  The air is clear, the sky is big and the sun is bright.  As a matter of fact, the sun is so bright that it can get irritating.  You definitely need a hat on many summer days.  It is also nice when a cloud or two shows up to cover the ever present sun. 

Today, a cloud shows up for the Israelites over the Tabernacle and God is in the cloud!  As our reading begins, Moses is pleased with the objects fashioned by the Israeli craftsmen.  He sets up the Tabernacle according to God's specifications and anoints the objects to be set apart for service to God.  Have I mentioned that the term Messiah and Christ mean Anointed One?  How appropriate that the Tabernacle which is designed to picture Christ would be anointed from one end to the other.  God does not miss a trick.

Today, although God is light, His glorious presence before the Israelites is seen in the form of a cloud that hovers over the Tabernacle.  The cloud would rest on the Tabernacle during the day and at night the cloud would have a fire in it so that the people could see it.  If the cloud moved, the camp would break and follow the cloud.  If the cloud settled, the people would stop and make camp wherever the cloud rested.  Because this cloud was the shekinah glory of God, we see that following God is the key to making it through the wilderness.  The Israelites will follow God's glory through the wilderness for forty years and finally make it to the Promised Land.

Have you ever thought about the fact that when you are in the wilderness, God is going ahead of you in a cloud and is the key to YOU making it through your trial?  God is the cloud that will shield us as we roast under the blazing problems that can overwhelm us at certain times in our lives.  Just as the Israelites carried the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders through the desert, are you carrying Christ in your heart in order to cope with the difficulties of this life?  This story in the Bible is there for a reason.  It is a picture that shows us a spiritual reality. Learn from this picture.

This concludes the book of Exodus.  The nation of Israel started as slaves in Egypt and ended by having God's very presence among them, guiding them through the wilderness to a land of milk and honey.  What a beautiful picture of what God does for all of us.  He takes us from the bondage of sin to the glory of the blessed Christian life.  He goes before us in this life on earth. Congratulations on finishing the second book of the Old Testament!

Mark 1:1-28

Have you ever felt rushed and in a hurry?  These days we think everyone has ADD or ADHD.  Maybe we all do.  Maybe back in the day, you would have said that Mark, who wrote the next book that we are going to read in the New Testament, had ADHD.  Why do I say this?  Because Mark is a book of action.  It never sits still.  It is go, go, go!  We see Jesus doing and saving and talking and healing and being a man that Gentiles can relate to.  This book was written for the Romans.  Mark interpreted Peter's account of Christ's life on earth.  Peter was a man of action and this Gospel reflects that personality.  Let's go!

Here's what happens in just the first chapter of Mark:
  • John the Baptist prepares the world for the Christ saying that he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus comes and gets baptized by John and begins his ministry with God saying you are my Beloved Son.
  • Jesus goes into the wilderness and is tempted and angels care for him.
  • John is arrested by Herod because he said that Herod should repent.
  • Jesus calls Peter to be his disciple and says you will be fishers of men.
  • Jesus calls James and John.
  • Jesus teaches in the synagogue with authority.
  • Jesus throws out an evil spirit who claims that Jesus is the One sent from God.
  • The news of Christ spreads quickly through the entire region of Galilee.
See what I mean!  Hang onto your hats, folks.  : )

Psalm 35:1-16

If you ever feel attacked and wronged read this psalm to find beautiful words that will express your emotions for that situation.  God is not afraid of your true feelings.

Proverbs 9:11-12

If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

What did you see today?  You finished Exodus!  Good for you.  Keep reading!


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton