“Whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel continued with all their travels. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not travel onward until the day when it was taken up. For the cloud of Adonai was above the tabernacle during the day, and fire was in [the cloud] at night, so that all the house of Isra’el could see it throughout all their travels.”-Exodus 40:36-38
There are two powerful principles to be gleaned from Exodus 40, the closing chapter of the Book of Exodus.
From verses 18 to 33, we are presented with a very dramatic account of the construction and consecration of the Tabernacle that ends with the words: “So Moses finished the work”.
This resounding proclamation signifies the end of a major phase and the beginning of the next stage of the Lord’s plan for them.
This brings us to the principle that if you’re going to go on a long journey or undertake a major project, you have to be properly prepared AND equipped.
This was the whole objective of the Tabernacle!
It was preparation that would allow the Lord to dwell with the Israelites.
The Tabernacle also foreshadowed the Apostle Paul’s analogy when he said that believers in Yeshua are God’s present day earthly Tabernacles or Temples.
Once the construction of the Tabernacle was finished, the temporary tent where God was meeting with Moses would have been dismantled.
Another fundamental and very important God principle is brought to the fore in verse 36.
We’re told that when the Lord wanted Israel to break camp and move, He was going to give them a signal that would let them know it was time to take the next step towards the goal of the Promised Land.
The signal would be the lifting up of the upward cloud of glory.
When the cloud lifted, the Israelites were to break camp and move.
And the reverse was also true.
If the cloud didn’t lift, they were to stay put and wait on the Lord.
The spiritual takeaway here is obvious.
When God wants you to move, He’ll let you know.
I can’t count the number of times things in my life turned into a complete disaster because I lost patience and wouldn’t wait for the Lord’s cloud to lift.
The Lord’s timing is PERFECT and when we lose faith and don’t trust Him, absolutely nothing good results.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.
Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost
to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
be patient until the Lord returns.
See how the farmer waits for the precious
“fruit of the earth”— he is patient over it
until it receives the fall and spring rains.
You too, be patient;
keep up your courage;
for the Lord’s return is near.”
“For we through the Spirit,
are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”