The Cloud Lifted
The Cloud Lifted
Words of Faith 6-2-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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The book of Numbers is a powerful of the history of God's people. This book is one of the five books of Moses. Numbers gives the account of God’s people in the desert as they were traveling toward the Promised Land. The book is called Numbers from the Greek word ‘arithmoi’ which the Greek word used to name the book. Numbers begins with several census reports and accounts of the number of people and livestock. The Hebrew name for the book is “mid-bawr” from the fifth word in the book. The word means “in the desert of” or “wilderness of.” This is a book about the desert wanderings of Israel. We will pick up the story in chapter 10 after the first large census of the Israelites.
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 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the Testimony.  Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.  They set out, this first time, at the Lord's command through Moses…
In the book of Exodus, the children of Israel came out of Egypt. God had brought His people out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt. He used ten powerful plagues to break the grip of Pharaoh. They had been protected during the plagues sent by God and left Egypt unscathed.
In the desert, Moses received the Law and instruction regarding the Tabernacle. These were critical days for the Israelites to learn who they were and who God was calling them to be. God was setting up patterns that would eventually be echoed in the great Temple of Jerusalem. God was also laying the foundations that point to the redemption of humanity in Christ.
But first, there was a journey ahead. The people were counted, and horses were mounted. It was time to go. After eleven months at Mount Sinai, the people began the journey to the Promise. It would take a while.
The cloud had finally lifted. It was time to set out in a new direction. A new journey. To say this was a promising moment would be an understatement. After all that Moses and Israelite people had been through—ten plagues, a perilous chase through the Red Sea, the initial dangers of the desert, the giving of the Law, and the building of a portable Tabernacle —it was now time to set forth as a people.
Starting again is like that. The is preparation. Things are counted. Finally, the cloud lifts and… we start. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
All of those parts are necessary if we are going to walk in freedom toward the Promise. We need to be ready. We need to take account. And when the cloud lifts, we go.
Many feel they are starting again these days. After several months of near isolation and sheltering-in-place, folks are taking an account. We are counting blessings and setting new priorities. We have learned the essentials of worship are not in one place but are something we take with us, Tabernacle style.
We are getting ready for what is next. We are making sure we are connected. And now, the cloud is lifting. It is time to step forward. It is time to break from the bondage of the past move toward the Land of Promise.
Are you ready for the journey? Let’s see what we can learn and how we can gain from the story of the Israelites.
Father God, You have watched over us across generations. You have blessed and provided in times when we were not obedient. You have given Your Word and directives so that we might walk closely with you to claim freedom and Promise. Walk with me today, Lord. Get me ready. Lift the cloud. In Jesus' Name. Amen.