Sermons

Summary: I have had some marvelous experiences with clouds, but not until recently did I ever realize how important a place clouds play in the Bible, and in the plan of God. They play a major role in life on this planet, for without clouds there would be no life.

Jean Baptiste Lamarch, the distinguished French naturalist, came from a military family

and, at the age of 17 and in keeping with his family's tradition, enlisted in the army. At 21,

however, his health failed and he went to Paris for a year of treatment. It was the bleakest

time he had ever known. Poor and alone, he lived in a small attic room where he spent days

on end, flat on his back.There were no windows in the room. There was only a small

sky-light, through which he could watch the clouds drifting overhead. As time passed,

though, Lamarch became more and more intrigued by the different cloud formations. Each

type, he noticed, was associated with a particular kind of weather. There was the nimbus

which heralds a storm, the cumulus which comes at the end of a fine summer afternoon, the

cirres which, says that good weather is on its way. When the year was over, Lamarch was an

expert on clouds. Military life, he decided, had lost its appeal. He switched to science and

fundless though he was at first, went on to become one of the outstanding scientists of his

generation.

Most of us do not have our lives changed by watching clouds, but the fact is most of us

have had times when watching clouds has had some effect on us. My granddaughter Jenny

and I just this past summer were sitting out on the front lawn finding different animals in the

clouds as they changed formations, and I watched clouds enough so that every time I see a

pretty cloud now I praise the Lord. It has become a habit because I spent enough time

dwelling on clouds to make a deep impression on my mind. I can identify with the unknown

poet who wrote-

"Oh, it is pleasant, with a heart of ease,

Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,

To make the shifting clouds be what you please,

Or let the easily-persuaded eyes

Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mold

Of a friend's fancy, or with head bent low

And clear as light, see rivers flow of gold

"Twixt crimson banks; and then, a traveler, go

From mount to mount through cloud and gorgeous land."

Probably the most impressive clouds I have ever experienced was when I was a chaplain

in the Civil Air Patrol and was taken up in a small plane. When the pilot got above the clouds

I could not believe the brightness as the sun reflected off the masses of billowing clouds. It

was the brightest experience I have ever had. Miles and miles of brilliant shining clouds. It

was awesome, and again enables me to identify with HIGH FLIGHT by John Gillespie

Magee, Jr.

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds -- and done a

hundred things You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue

I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untresspassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

I have had some marvelous experiences with clouds, but not until recently did I ever

realize how important a place clouds play in the Bible, and in the plan of God. They play a

major role in life on this planet, for without clouds there would be no life. They also play a

major role in the weather. Man has spent millions of dollars and hours trying to learn all he

can about clouds for he knows they hold the secrets to much of what he wants to know. The

Bible says much about the role of clouds in weather and this is important to understand, but

today we are going to focus on the spiritual values in clouds. Let me just share this one

paragraph on the scientific nature of clouds.

What are clouds? Clouds are water. Either small liquid water drops or tiny pieces of ice.

Meteorologists rank clouds according to their height and whether or not they are flat or

puffy. How are clouds formed? Clouds form when the air rises. As a blob of air rises it

expands and gets colder, the colder air cannot hold as much water as warmer air. As the

temperature and air pressure continue to drop, tiny water droplets group together into

clumps called cloud droplets. At this point, the blob of air becomes a visible cloud. If the

cloud keeps going up, the cloud droplets will clump together and form water droplets. These

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