Led by the Glory Cloud!
Scripture reading for February 13th: Numbers 9-12
I often think about being led by the visible presence of God as I read these passages that describe God leading His people. It seems so simple just to be able to follow the cloud of glory as God arose and the Israelites were called to follow. I tend to think how comforting it would be to know the Lord’s visible presence day and night in the midst of His people. If only we could be together and have that today, would we behave better than we sometimes do?
The Israelites were instructed plainly by God to move only when God’s visible presence moved. (Numbers 9:15-18) They were to camp around the Ark of the Covenant housed in the Tent of Meeting. They were to camp in a definite order with three tribes on each of the four directions around the Tent. The Levites were to be in the middle with the Tent. (Numbers 2:17) When the community was to assemble or prepare to move, Aaron and his sons were to blow two trumpets of hammered silver. Various blasts would signal the Israelites that they were to either move out or assemble.
God always led the procession and gave the orders. The tribes must move in the order He instructed them, with Judah in the lead. (Numbers 10:14) The tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali brought up the rear and guarded their back. As the Ark either moved or came to rest, Moses was to say, “Rise up, O Lord! May Your enemies be scattered; may Your foes flee before You.” Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, O Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel.” (Numbers 10:35-36) Faith in God was to be spoken by their leader, Moses, to remind the people that God was the head of their army and He was arising to lead them in victory!
Today, we have something better! Jesus Christ (Lion of Judah) is the Head of His church army! He has already defeated the enemy, Satan. He calls His church to go forth under His direction to announce the victory in the power of the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders confirming that victory! Whenever His church obeys in faith, He works with them to take care of all enemies and we know we will triumph! He lives in us and we can rest in His love and care. (Mark 16:17-20)