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The Cloud

How can a man seek for God? How can he touch him?
God who holds the universe in the palm of his hand
Who with the breath of his mouth creates the stars
And with the thought of his mind moves the galaxies
How can frail man reach out and touch the Almighty God
Yet God was manifest in the vast cloud
That descended into the tabernacle and the temple
The cloud no sinful man could stand before
Man breathing in the Divine Presence of God

The cloud now comes to our blood covered Temple
The Holy Spirit descending like a pure white dove
With the clap of wings beating through resistant air
The enveloping cloud, baptizing the soul
Permeating, purifying the inward parts,
God filling the utmost corners of the hidden recesses
Swept off our feet, Lifted by His grace,
Weightless, floating, folded in His arms
Swirling, all encompassing, tender embrace
Dissolved forever into the cloud of His love.

27 April 2008

References:
1Ki 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
Ch 6:17 Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.
2Ch 6:18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
Psa 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

A Jewish Perspective: On Sukkot [Feast of Booths or Tabernacles] we also celebrate the divine protection enjoyed by our ancestors during their 40-year sojourn in the wilderness. During that time the Clouds of Glory shielded the Children of Israel from the radical temperature variations common in the desert. At night it turned into a Pillar of Fire to guide them and illuminate the dark hours for them, and the Midrash relates that the cloud killed dangerous animals and even leveled their path. We therefore find that the sukkah [booth] represents the Clouds of Glory, which of course are representations of the Shechinah [Divine Presence].
While in the sukkah every breath we take is filled with Godliness, as we are completely surrounded by the sanctity of the Mitzvah

Exo 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
1Ki 8:10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength
and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 ©2008 Stephen Share

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