Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. Numbers 9:22 (NLT)
Have you ever watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? Recently, Tucson experienced the razing and rebuilding of a 3600 square foot home—all done in one week. I used to build houses and can’t imagine coordinating the crews to meet that deadline. Even under normal circumstance, I remember how important it was for me to put away the plans, after pouring over them all day, if I wanted a restful night’s sleep. I needed time to wind down from the countless details and drawings. As I read the story of the building of the Tabernacle, it struck me that God is a God of detail. He knew exactly what He wanted and gave a list of instructions to Moses about its construction, contents, arrangement, and even the best craftsmen to do the work. (While reading, I tried to visualize the construction plans and realized we use many of the same details when framing a house today.)
But, this was not a one-man or one-week project. Moses was the project manager but all the children of Israel participated. Everyone donated to the project—from precious metals and stones to wood and colored thread—all used for the completion of the intricate patterns and designs. Imagine the excitement of the people as Moses assembled all the pieces and the Tabernacle took shape before their eyes. And think of their wonder as they watched the glory of the LORD fill it with His presence—a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. The LORD now had a visible place to dwell in the camp. However, did you notice how God chose to direct His people? If the cloud moved, the people knew it was time to break up camp and follow it. How many times have you asked God about His plans for your life? Wouldn’t it be easier if we could look out the window and see the status of the cloud—kinda like looking up the weather on the Internet? No, it is not that simple, but God did not leave us clueless. We have a guide and guidebook in the Holy Spirit and the Bible. He will speak to our heart and mind if we seek Him and listen. We may not see a cloud but we can count on His presence in the stillness of the night, the loneliness of a hospital bed, or the joy of a newborn baby. He promises never to leave us. So get your plans out and study them…for the next step.