anyone who knows me personally knows that elevation worship is my favorite worship band in the whole world! and after falling in love with their latest album from last year, one of my favorite songs was “there is a cloud”- the name of their album.
but as much as i loved the song, i had no clue what it really meant.
so i looked up the meaning behind the song and came across this youtube video which explained everything beautifully and really dove into the scripture behind this song that i am going to share with you!
it is based on 1 kings 18:41-45, but before you understand what’s going on in that passage, you have to look at the context around it.
during this time, elijah was a prophet to israel who was under the rule of king ahab and his wife jezebel. even governing God’s people, jezebel worshipped the idol Baal.
elijah continually tried to lead the worshippers of Baal to believing in the one true God, but they refused to listen.
so eventually elijah confronted the followers of Baal. both the Baal worshippers and elijah built an altar and prayed to their God to light the altar on fire. the worshippers of Baal prayed, cried, screamed, danced, and cut themselves, but nothing happened. elijah soaked the altar with water and prayed.
and in an instant, the spirit of God came down in a rush of fire engulfing the altar and consuming it and everything around it.
at this the followers of Baal began to declare that “the Lord, He is God. the Lord, He is God.”
now 1 kings 18:41-45 says, “And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.”
this is immediately after the followers of Baal worshipped God.
in a land that had been in a drought for three years. there was no rain or dew for three years.
verse 41 says that elijah heard the “sound of rushing rain”.
he had not seen or heard rain for three years and he heard it now. he heard it because he was listening for it.
he trusted God’s faithfulness and was waiting on His timing.
our actions should follow what God is commanding us to do, but we don’t know what His plan in until we stop and focus and listen to Him and His Word (psalm 46:10).
when you truly know someone, you know what their voice sounds like and how they act. in being in the Word, we learn the sound of God’s voice and learn of His faithfulness and love toward us.
but those who do not spend time in the Word or who do not believe at all have no clue what God sounds or acts like.
it is our responsibility to be aware of God working especially around people who cannot hear Him because they don’t know Him.
it is our job to make an invisible God visible to this world!
verses 42-43 talk about elijah sending a servant to go look at the sea. he went and came back saying “there is nothing”. SEVEN TIMES! that had to be frustrating going back and forth looking for something that wasn’t there.
but on the seventh time, the servant came back and told elijah that he saw a small cloud rising.
in our lives, sometimes we are aware of God’s plan for our lives, but He still wants us to wait because it is in the waiting that we learn and grow the most.
waiting is so frustrating and can be hard, but it is always for a purpose! and in the end, it always shows God’s faithfulness even when it seemed like it would be easier to give up.
now this is where the passage really ties into the song.
in verses 44-45 it describes this cloud rising up from the sea.
the hebrew word used for “cloud” means “covering” or “darkness” that surrounds everything around it.
so not only is rain coming to a land that had a drought, it is surrounding the area where former idolaters just declared the sovereignty and power of God!
but the amazing part is this- not only is there a cloud but there was wind.
the word used for “wind” means “spirit”.
and this word is the same word used in Genesis 1:2 when it says that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters”.
the same God that was there at the creation of the world is surrounding these people and pouring His spirit into them.
the rain was not just bringing restoration to a dry land but to a people who never knew God who were now experiencing the “living water” in the spirit of God.
the same God that created the world was the same God who poured into this dry and barren land and people was the same God who tore the veil is the same God with us today and is the same God that has conquered the grave and is coming back!
this song is a declaration of God’s faithfulness in our lives. in our dry souls, He is the living water bringing restoration when we least expect it.
and for those in a season of waiting for the cloud to show up, trust me- the drought will end. winter will end and spring will come.
especially as a senior about to graduate, i’m in that in between season of still being in high school but almost being in college. even once i graduate, i will not yet be a college student. i know that college is coming but i have to wait.
you may feel like you’re in the middle of a cold, hard winter, yearning for spring, but spring will come! spring always comes! sometimes we have to wait but sometimes it comes a little early.
jeremiah 17 says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
trees know even in the midst of winter that spring is coming. they do not worry about it, but they deepen their roots so that they can thrive and grow even more when spring does come.
and believers are called to be like this tree by the water. we are told to not fear, grow our roots, and bear fruit.
believers will experience droughts. we will endure trials. but in those times as 1 peter says we are being tested so that we can grow. and in growing we can bear more fruit and further the kingdom.
but in order to grow in times of drought, we need to be listening to God. waiting for the sound of rain. romans 10:17 tells us that faith is by hearing and hearing the Word of God. we need to know God in order to hear Him and that means spending time with Him by reading the Word.
by doing this, our roots will grow in the Word, bearing more fruit, because we trusted God’s Word and stood upon His promises because He is so so faithful!
Lift your eyes, offer your heart
Jesus Christ, opened the heavens
Now we receive, the Spirit of God
You will call, forth in its time
You are Lord, Lord of the harvest
Calling our hope, now to arise
We receive Your love
When You come
We receive Your love
We await, the Promise to come
Everything, that You have spoken
Will come to pass, let it be done!”
even in times of hardship and trials, we have a faithful and loving God who stays true to His promises!