Devotional Week 31 Thursday
“The Lord reigns forever…
Psalm 9: 7
…and the righteous stand firm forever…
Proverbs 10: 25
…and the fruit of righteousness will be peace; and the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.”
Isaiah 32: 17
“This evening the clouds hung low on the mountains, so that sometimes we could hardly see the familiar peaks. Sometimes the stars, too, were nearly all covered. But always, just when it seemed as though the mountains were going to be quite lost in the mist, the higher peaks pushed out and, whereas the dimmer stars were veiled, the brighter ones shone through.
Even supposing the clouds had wholly covered the face of the mountains, and not a star shone through the piled-up masses, the mountains would still have stood steadfast and the stars would not have ceased to shine. I thought of this and found it very comforting, simple as it was.
Our feelings do not affect God’s facts. They may blow up, like clouds, and cover the eternal things that we do most truly believe. We may not see the shining of the promises – but still thy shine! And the strength of the hills that is His also, is not for one moment less because of our human weakness…Feelings go and come, like clouds. But the ‘hills’ and ‘stars’ abide.”
“My Father, I will anchor my self, my thoughts and my will, in these facts;
You rule in heaven and on the earth!
You call me “righteous” because I am in Jesus, Your Son,
No matter what it may see, I will stand firm.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and got him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.”
Exodus 24: 15-18
“The Pillar of Cloud and Fire” Part 4
“Teach me, my God and King
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.”
Do I take time in my life each day to gain instruction from my heavenly Father?
“Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and I will obey You faithfully; teach me to serve You with complete devotion.”
From Psalm 86
“Govern all by Your wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving You as You will.”
Teresa of Avila
I find it interesting sometimes, as I am reading the Bible, to close my eyes and try to visualize myself in the situation being described in Scripture.
Our study text for today is one of those times I wish I could have been present to watch what was taking place.
Obviously, as we read Exodus 24, God called Moses to come up on Mount Sinai. In Exodus 24: 14, we find that after this “calling” from God, Moses instructed the “elders,” to “tarry ye here for us.” Leaving Aaron and Hur behind, Moses and Joshua started climbing up Sinai until finally, we are told it was Moses who was within the cloud on the mount for forty days and forty nights.
But there’s a very interesting text in this passage which I have often skipped over and it is Exodus 24: 17 which gives us this vital information: “And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.”
As we read in Exodus 24: 12, God told Moses that He wanted him to come up into the mount so that God could provide instruction to Moses which he could in-turn pass on and, “thou mayest teach them” (the children of Israel).”
Here we find that a cloud which had served as God’s guide, as a protector, and as a banner or standard of God’s love and truth, now became the covering for Moses’ place and time of instruction. As I read Exodus 24 several times, it hit me how critical it was for Moses to have time with God where he could be taught. And this is such an important lesson for you and me to grasp. Taking time for heavenly instruction from our Father is spiritually life-sustaining! It is essential!
Recently, I read an article that was written by a respected educator who lamented the fact that so much learning today, for children as well as adults, takes place in the midst of noise, confusion and unending busyness.
As I thought about her comments, I found myself looking more closely at my own time-management, if you can call it that.
It seems that the last thing I do at night, much too frequently, is make out a “to-do” list for the next day. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being organized and trying to accomplish tasks in an orderly fashion. However, as I read about Moses going into the “cloud” for instruction from his Father, it gave me pause to reconsider the priorities in my life for if I long to be infused with God’s glory and as the Palmist David asked God, “Teach me Thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works,” (Psalm 119: 27 K.J.V.) then there must be for Dorothy, “time on the mount covered by the cloud.”
Let me be clear – I’m not saying I’m leaving today to go climb a mountain in the Sinai desert. What I am trying to convey is the more practical longing to make certain that time for being taught by my Father makes it on my daily “to-do” list – and not as some after-thought, but instead as the top priority.
It’s so easy for us, as one individual observed, “When, spurred by tasks unceasing or undone, to seek rest afar.” What we need to learn at our Father’s feet, is to neglect the needless, and sanctify the rest for where lives the soul, lives our Father. Our problem is that in our haste “to-do,” we forget that the covering cloud of our Father’s glory and presence, as God told Moses, turns our daily path into holy ground.
This short poem by M. Colley so perfectly expresses this thought:
“It may be on a kitchen floor,
Or in a busy shopping store,
Or teaching nursing day by day,
Till limb and brain almost give way;
Yet if, just there, by Jesus thou art found,
The place thou standest on is Holy Ground.”
Author George Matheson reminds us of our Father’s promise that, “I will make the place of my feet glorious.” And then he continues to expand on this beautiful thought with these words: “Be it never so rough, be it never so steep, be it never so miry – the place of His feet is glorious! Take God on thy route and thou shalt banish wrinkles from thy brow.”
It was a Pillar of cloud that guided and protected God’s children. It was a Pillar that carried the banner of love and truth of the sovereign God of the universe. And it was in a Pillar of cloud where God’s glorious presence covered His child as Moses took time for instruction from his Father. May you and I, today, find that by taking time each day to walk with our Father and by inviting His presence into our lives, the ground on which we walk, because of our Father’s residence in our lives continually, will become Holy Ground, too.
“Grant me, I beseech Thee, O merciful God, prudently to study, rightly to understand and perfectly to fulfill that which is pleasing to Thee, to the praise and glory of Thy name.” Amen.
“(A Psalm] of David.) Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
Psalm 25: 1-10
King James Version
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus