Tag: fire by night
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)
Scripture reading for February 1st: Exodus 35-40
“And so Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:33b-35)
These last chapters of Exodus contain a detailed account of how Moses and the Israelites carried out the Lord’s instructions for building the tabernacle. God truly wanted to live in the midst of His people. In order to accomplish that, the people were asked to willingly bring an offering from what they had. (Exodus 35:5) They presented their offerings as a wave offering before the Lord. (Exodus 35:22) The people brought so much gold and other valuables, that they had to be asked to stop! (Exodus 36:6-7) When God is in our midst, we are moved to generosity because of His blessing and presence!
Then God anointed certain people with skill and ability as craftsmen to build the tabernacle exactly as He showed Moses. (Exodus 35:30-33) Each person was anointed by God to do practical skilled work. It wasn’t just the priests or those who were set apart to handle the offerings! All work is sacred and whatever skill that God has blessed us with should be consecrated to the Lord and used for His purposes. There is no secular work in God’s economy!
Upon completion of the tabernacle and its furnishing, Moses inspected the work and declared it properly done, “just as the Lord commanded.” (Exodus 39:42) Those who worked were blessed by Moses! Not only was Moses pleased, but the Lord commanded that the tabernacle be erected on the first day of the first month and be anointed with the sacred anointing oil. Aaron and his sons were dressed as prescribed and anointed for their work. As a sign of God’s approval, the glory cloud descended on the tabernacle and filled the structure. Moses could not enter because of the glory of God’s presence there!
Today we have something better! We are the living stones of the new dwelling of God among men. (1st Peter 2:5) We are also the new anointed priesthood, set apart to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. When God’s glory dwells in us by the Holy Spirit and there is no room for the old man! (2nd Corinthians 3:18)