Summary: God guided His People by a Cloud during the day throughout their wilderness journey. The Cloud represnts being Holy Spirit led. Find out who is doing the leading in this sermon.
THE CLOUD, THE CROWD, THE CRUTCH
1 Corinthians 10:1 “Moreover brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud –”
The Glory Cloud of the Old Testament typifies the presence of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
1. WAIT FOR THE CLOUD.
Num. 9:20-23. Daily the people had to look to see if the Cloud was moving. Heb. 12:1-2. Fixing our eyes upon Jesus. Here is the test of trust, they had to look up for guidance. Greek word for man signifies “To turn the face upward”.
2. FOLLOW THE CLOUD.
Num. 9:23. Wherever the Cloud or Fire went the people were to follow. Imagine they could no longer PLAN. We are people who desire predictability! James 4:13-15 “Now listen you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there and carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”.
JESUS said “I am the way”. He moved when God had Him move, stood still when God said stand still, spoke when He was told to and kept silent when He was supposed to. He said nothing without first hearing it from the Father!
3. RELY UPON THE CLOUD.
The Cloud offered the people shade from the heat of the day. The Fire heat during the cold of the desert night. God wants us to lean on His provision. Acts 17:28 “For in Him we live, and move and have our being”.
1. A CROWD ISN”T A CLOUD.
We have a tendency to follow the crowd.. We are sincere to do the will of God yet we are attracted by the crowd and by what attracts the crowd. John 6:60-66. A godly crowd is even called a cloud. He 12:1. “A great cloud of witnesses”.
2. CROWDS HAVE A NATURAL MOMENTUM TO THEM.
That’s how crowds work. Individuals spontaneously respond to the movement of the crowd. E.g. 401, disasters, etc John 6:22-26. It is one thing to be encouraged on our way by the cloud of witnesses surrounding us, it is something else to be caught in the crowd pressing us.
3. CROWDS DRAW US AWAY FROM THE CLOUD.
When we follow the crowd it usually draws us away from the Cloud. E.g. Saul 1 Sam. 15:24. Numbers 14:1-4.
The crutch can be anything we substitute from Biblical ways of guidance. E.g. “The Promise Box”, what about “The Curse Box?” Another would be opening the Bible reading a verse and saying that’s my guidance for today. Another would be Fleeces.
Judges 6:36-40. 1 Cor 1:22.
1. A CRUTCH IS A SIGN OF LIMITED FAITH.
Gideon already knew God’s purpose. Judges 6:14,36. Perplexity and uncertainty is often the fruit of the working of the will.
2. A CRUTCH IS A SIGN OF FEAR AND UNBELIEF.
3. A CRUTCH IS A SIGN OF AN UNWILLINGNESS TO SUBMIT TO GOD.
We ask for a sign because sometimes our will does not match up with God’s will. We seek a prophet to agree with us, instead of agreeing with God. E.g. Balaam and Balak.