And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passes, and cleans them.
How much is said in Scripture about clouds! Clouds are the appropriate signs of mystery, and majesty, and mercy. It is impossible to look upon a cloud without being impressed perhaps more with the appropriateness of it as a vesture of God's greatness and His divinity, than even sea or mountain. Clouds have an interpreted force. They have gentle and bright teachings. They are capable of daguerreotyping upon our paths bright letters, if we will but stop to read them. See whether we can detect some of the light.
1. In the character of God, the cloud has silver linings. "Dark with excessive light His skirts appear." In nature, God appears to us very much more as the God of mystery than as the God of mercy. To me nature is no gospel. The character of God is a great, strange, dark cloudland; but it has its silver lining. He dwells in incommunicable, inaccessible light. Yet on the fringes of that cloud which vests Him, and passes before His throne, we see indications and traces of the benignity and beauty of His character. The Bible is only something like a cloud before the throne of God. He holds back the splendour of His own Being, for we could not bear it.
2. In the pathway of providence the clouds have a silver lining. The providence in which God moves is frequently as cloudy as even the vesture that robes round His own being and character. How unreasonable it is for us to suppose that all providential arrangements are to be known and seen by us. God's justice is terrible, but it is lined with mercy; God's terror is terrible, but it is lined with love; God's power is terrible, but it is lined with wisdom.
3. In the interpretation of truth, the cloud has often a silver lining. The words of the Book have great darkness in them. It is much easier to ask questions on the difficulties of Scripture than it is to answer them.
4. In the ordinances of religion the cloud has a silver lining. Learn that we must be cheerful under the darkness. Finally, there are clouds in some parts of the universe that have no silver linings.
(E. Paxton Hood.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.