“Do you know how the clouds are balanced, Those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” Job 37:16
Do you remember as a child, “seeing” things (animals especially) with an imagining eye, in the clouds? As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with clouds. I often go outside to watch them move about the sky—some swirling about like children at play; others separating from a larger mass to float on alone. I like to view them when they are bright white in a calm sky, gray in a disturbed sky, and when they appear to be every color on God’s palette with the rising and setting of the sun.
While doing some research, I visited National Geographic’s website where an interesting article had been written about them. Under the simple title: “Clouds” read its subtitle: “Atmospheric Decoration.” I smiled when I read that phrase because I believe the statement is ironic. National Geographic is by no means a religious organization, yet they fully ascribe to clouds being “decoration.” In order to have decoration, someone must have done the decorating, right? Yet, atheists, naturalists and other non-religious people try to convince others that the clouds decorate themselves—apparently.
What does the Bible say about clouds? While the Bible has many prepositional phrase references (metaphorical and literal) to clouds: God appearing in the clouds, Jesus returning in/on the clouds, etc., the only place in the Bible where clouds are spoken of in a literal—structural way is in the poetical book of Job. It is in the book that we learn about clouds, His “wondrous works” (Job 37:16).
As a result of my extreme fascination with them, I have learned all the Latin classifications for clouds, labeled in 1803 by English scientist, Luke Howard. Although there many types of clouds, the four general roots are: cumulus, meaning heap; stratus, meaning layer; cirrus, meaning curl of hair; and nimbus, meaning rain. In a general sense, the classifications simply place clouds into nice little ”artsy” categories, unattached to the Artist; but the way the clouds are described in the book of Job expose the Artist—the One who heaps up, layers, curls, and expands the clouds:
Job 37:11-12: “With moisture He saturatesthe thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, That they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth.”
Job 38:8-9: “Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band.”
So, someone at National Geographic got it right; clouds do decorate the sky. But they certainly don’t just appear there by chance; rather, God saturates, scatters, turns, commands, and clothes the seas with them. He is the one who is moving them—whether fast or slow. He is the one who allows them to break off from a mass and go their own way. He fills them with water; and He releases the water—when and where He wishes. He is the Painter, the Artist, and the very best “Decorator” of the firmament!
We have an amazing privilege each and every day to look upon God’s “wondrous works.” The next time you walk outside, look up in the sky and remember that God decorated the sky this day just for you! xo