Cover to Cover
Reading: Numbers 7:1-10:10
Focus: Numbers 9:15-23
In the army, soldiers submit to the authority of the commanding officer. When the commander makes the decision to move out, everyone moves out; when he makes the decision to camp, everyone sets up camp. There is little room to question the decisions of the commander. Whether the camp stays for a day, a week, a month is entirely up to the commander free to move his officers with a simple command.
Such was the life of the nomadic Israelites in the desert. They would follow God’s leading, marked by His cloud over the Tabernacle. When the cloud rested over the Tabernacle, the Israelites would remain where they were; when the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would pack up camp and set out until the cloud stopped. It could have been simply a day, could have been weeks, could have been months. They simply followed the cloud as it led them.
One of the most difficult things in the church is the issue of following God’s will and understanding His leading. We don’t have a cloud which goes before us decreeing the paths that we are to walk. The lack of a visible guide leaves us disadvantaged. However, the other side we often miss is that there is still a responsibility for us to act even when we know where to walk. The Israelites, though guided by the Presence, still needed to act accordingly.
We may not have a cloud, but we have the Scriptures. In which are contained guidelines, exhortations, challenges, and even, criticisms for life. So, not every step in life is outlined for us, but we have the entire counsel of Scripture to guide us in matters of life. The hard part is putting into practice (obedience), trusting the integrity of Scripture’s counsel, and walking out in faith that God has not left us without reason. Each one of us has opportunities ahead of us which only await our reaching out and grabbing hold of them.
Next Reading: Numbers 10:11-13:33