The winter brings with it cloudy days. Although there are some exceptions, most people prefer the sun over the clouds. However, in the Bible, the clouds are often associated with the presence of God. Depending on the people's submission to God, God appearing in the cloud can either be a day of deliverance or a doom.

In the book of Exodus, God goes ahead of the people during the day in a pillar of cloud. "The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night" (Exo 13:21-22).

God's presence at Sinai is associated with the cloud. "The LORD said to Moses, 'Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.' Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD" (Exo 19:9).

The cloud is even referred to as "the cloud of the LORD." "For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel" (Exo 40:38).

The cloud is associated with God's guidance, the people's movement, protection, worship, and God's revelation. All of this is probably in the background of prophetic passages which associate God's impending judgment with the clouds. Several writings of the prophets use the imagery of the cloud to depict the time when God will come to set things right and judge the nations. For example, Ezekiel writes in Ezek 30:3,

For the day is near,
Even the day of the LORD is near;
It will be a day of clouds,
A time of doom for the nations.

As we keep reading through the Bible, Jesus is identified as the Son of God by a voice out of the cloud (Matt 17:5). Furthermore, the return of the Son of God is associated with the clouds (Matt 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Luke 21:27).

All of this is likely meant to be understood alongside the poetry of the Psalms which refer to the clouds as "His chariot" (Ps 104:3). The clouds remind us of our smallness. We are so finite and limited in comparison to the infinite and eternal God.

The Lord is so grand and powerful that the clouds can serve as His chariot. Truly, we should be living as though He is our Lord.