Numbers 3–The Levites, God’s Firstborn

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The Levitical tribe had a unique place in Israel.  They were set apart to perform all the duties related to the spiritual functions of the nation.  They were in charge of the Tabernacle and the tent of meeting.  They would care for the furnishings and the Ark of the Covenant.  They would be the priests of the tribes and always be spread through the tribes and not left on their own.

But, the Lord said something unique to Moses–These are to be the replacement for the 1st born males from every Israelite woman that I lost in Egypt.  God had not forgotten the horrible act Pharaoh had ordered.  The Levites were to replace the first born males lost to Israel–the ones that would normally be committed to God. What a seat of honor–to be truly set apart as a tribe, to replace such a grievous loss.  The men of Levi would hold that distinction from then on.

In our lives, God set us apart as well.  We are to be his chosen.  We are to be his ambassadors among the people of the world.  We are to wear the LORD’S name boldly as we live our daily lives.  God treasured the Levitical order; just as He treasures us. We simply need to live as His people, It is as great an honor to live as God’s ambassadors while we walk among those we know each day!

God Bless You

This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai.

The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.Those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests, who were ordained to serve as priests. Nadab and Abihu, however, died before the Lord when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.

The Lord said to Moses, “Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle. They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle. Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.[a] 10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.”

11 The Lord also sai

Numbers 14 Part 2–The Heartbreak of Sin

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The people made a choice. They were willing to kill Moses and Aaron, abandon God, and march back to Egypt. This, in the midst of the presence of a God, who simply wanted to fulfill His promise, and give them a land of their very own.  Needless to say, God was not pleased. God appeared at the tent of meeting for all the people to see. There is little doubt that the unrest ceased, and the people realized that they had just made a big mistake.
 
Moses met with God–God was ready to wipe the lot of them out…They had done nothing to say thanks for their deliverance; other than to act with contempt,  whine and complain. Moses calmed God down by reminding him that it was God that would be shamed by their destruction. The other nations would question God’s authority–since God could not manage the people He had freed.  So, God spared the people, sort of.  He would still lead them provide and protect them; but, He would not allow them to enter or settle the promised land.  Only Joshua and Caleb would gain that privilege.
 
It would be a life of regret always being close, but never being released to enjoy the promise.  Difficult for God, who so wanted to bless them. Difficult for Moses–who would have to spend his life leading the people. What a true act of love and leadership, missing the blessing when he never wavered about his faith. Still, while not enjoying the blessing they might have, God would still love and lead the people–because He loved them.
 
In our lives, God loves us just as much.  He is heart broken when we fail to trust and follow Him. He forgives us, and continues to prepare, provide and protect us. Still, it grieves God to see us miss out on the blessing He wants for us.  We need to seek God’s will, and follow Him, even when it does not seem easy nor pleasant.  In His time, God will bless us–we simply have to trust Him.  If we fail to do so, He will forgive us; but, He may not bless us.  That would be a shame.
 
God Bless You

 Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’

17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanitesare living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.[a]

Numbers 14 Part 1–Faith or Fear

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One would think that the Israelites could figure it out.  They had, after all, watched God do more than any people had ever seen. Still, fear started to overtake the people.  It was not just a little fear, they were afraid to the point that their slavery and abuse seemed safer than trusting God.  The same God who liberated them from that abuse.The Israelites whipped themselves into such a frenzy, that they were picking new leaders; and preparing to stone God’s guys Moses and Aaron.  Suffice it to say, that was not good.
 
Paul said it best, “God does not give us the spirit of fear, but, instead the spirit of power and a sound mind!” 2 Timothy 1:7.  When they were faced with following God or their fears; the people voted loudly to follow their fears.  Satan had been at work for some time. “We do not like Manna, We want meat.” “We do not like the way we have had to face all this adversity…it was so much easier in Egypt!” The groundswell started small, but now had risen to an all out revolt–But then God arrived.
 
In our lives, we see God do great and glorious things. Preparation, protection and provision all laid out before us as we travel along the amazing journey. It is not a very far walk, however, to a place where fear can begin to creep in and make us believe we are alone and abandoned. We lose faith in God’s overall plan; for the circumstances that rise before us.  In those times, we must look at God’s track record, and remember He is always faithful. We simply have to choose to trust God and push through the circumstances, no matter how dire they seem.  We cannot abandon the faith the Lord has imparted to us for the fear the enemy attempts to plant in our lives. We must ask for and choose faith in God, every time. Failure to do so, will most assuredly end in a life of fear and defeat. As the Hymn so aptly states, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus…but, to trust and obey!”
 
God Bless You

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them.

Numbers 13 Part 2–The Ites and Giants

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One of the most difficult traps the Israelites faced, was there own pride and lack of faith.  After centuries of slavery, they simply struggled to be free of fear and the slave mentality.  As the scouts went through the land of Canaan, they saw amazing things. The fruit and crops were beautiful and plentiful. The spies said, in fact, that the land flowed with milk and honey.  Still, as they recounted the story, they held to a common theme–the land is filled with “Ites” and giants. WE are not big enough to take them.

Joshua and Caleb saw the problem differently. They saw a God that liberated them from Egypt. A God that fed them, protected them, prepared them, led them and mostly PROMISED them the land. From that perspective, the “Ites” and the giants were no big deal. God could take them easily.  What is more, it was clear that God had planned this; and to date His plans had been flawless. If God had done nothing else, He had definitely earned the trust of Israel.  

In our lives, it is very easy to get lost in the fear of facing our own “Ites” and giants. They look large and seem completely overwhelming. If we focus upon them, we begin to feel as small as grasshoppers facing them.  But God is faithful, If we will focus upon Him–The “Ites” and the giants become completely manageable.  He is the one executing the plan, and God, in his power, will complete it.  We must cling to the same perspective that Joshua and Caleb did–focusing on how great God is, not on how big the circumstances are.  If we will, God will be faithful–that is simply who He is. 
Help me, Lord to focus on you and not on the “Ites” and the giants.
God Bless You

So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,[a] they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Report on the Exploration

26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 13 Part 1–Go Check the Place Out

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After the years of slavery, the Exodus and 2 years in the desert; it was finally time to enter the promised Land.  Moses listened to God’s direction, brought together 12 leaders from the tribes, and sent them in to explore the land they were about to reclaim.  These leaders were to gather information on the state of the land, crops, enemies and vulnerabilities–all in preparation for God’s gift to his appointed people.

Still, something was off. In the weeks proceeding the monumentus occasion, there seemed to be a growing unrest. We want better food, we want meat. Moses married outside the tribes…all signs of a bigger problem–SIN. The reality was even with God literally hovering in the camp, feeding and preparing this people for their freedom, The people wanted control of their destiny. In hindsight, it seems impossible, well at least until we look at our own lives.

God has done countless amazing acts on our behalf. He has brought salvation to the hopeless sinner. He has delivered his spirit to align and guide us. He had amazing men from all walks of life and times in history write his word. The Word has remained relevant and consistent through history in providing the truth that God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. Still, on any given day, we are each subject to the same lie Lucifer told Eve–“Did God Really Say…”

We Have to start each day focused on God and His plan. We need to check our pride and selfish spirit at the door–and begin to see the world from God’s perspective.  If fail to do so, we will fall into the same traps as all have that have proceeded us.  Help us Lord to see things from your perspective and follow you all the days of our lives.

God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites…17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,[a] they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Numbers 12–Respecting God’s Man and Plan

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It is always easy to criticize those in whom we are jealous. Moses was clearly God’s man. Aaron was Moses spokesman and brother but was never the true leader of Israel. One evening, Aaron and Miriam began criticizing Moses for his choice of wife. He had not been a pure Jew, as it were.  God was not having any of it! He called the three of them to a meeting.  God took no time to set Aaron and Miriam straight–You will not criticize my man, Moses.  Miriam was struck with Leprosy and expelled from camp.  Moses pleaded Miriam’s healing, and God healed her, after allowing her to think about it for a week.
 
We have to watch our tongues.  We are all sinners, saved by grace. When we start criticizing others, comparing  their worth to ours, it rarely reflects positively on the person criticizing or the one being criticized.  In addition, that behavior calls into question God’s plan and His leadership. We have to trust God to place the right people and circumstances before us, as the Lord leads us on this Amazing Journey. Ours is not to question him, but to follow God humbly and gratefully. (Scripture describes Moses as the humblest man on earth.) Vs. 3.
 
When we question God’s leadership, we question God. If God brings in the wrong folks, He will correct it. Meanwhile, we are to honor God’s authority.  We are also to remain humble and simply live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. God Calls us to trust Him, follow him, and not spend our days criticizing God’s plan; which we simply do not understand.
 
God Bless You

 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud;he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”

The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed.

Numbers 11 Part 2–Delegation, God Appoints Elders

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It may sound cliche’, but, Moses was a man too. Make no mistake, Moses and God were close. He literally talked to God on a regular basis. In fact, Moses convinced God, after the Israelites worshiped the golden calf, not to wipe the people out and start over. Still, despite Moses’ love for God and his relationship with God–Moses was growing weary of the whining and the  continued struggles of leading a nation. God was gracious God understood–Moses was growing tired and angry–as he watched these ungrateful people continue to complain at every turn.
 
So, God had Moses appoint 70 men as elders.  Leaders from each tribe and clan. God anointed the elders with His spirit, and shifted part of the governance from Moses to the elders.  In this way, God allowed Moses the freedom to lead the people; without being lost in the day to day problems of every individual.  Moses was grateful. God was still in charge, and the people had to learn hard lessons about being grateful.  God gave them more meat than they could stomach and then He sent a plague to remind them that HE was in charge.
 
So often, we see our lives turn sideways due to trials, failures or circumstances beyond our control.  We get scared, worried and want to lash out, because, we have lost control.  God reminds us that He is in charge, and knows our situation.  When we begin to long for a life that we can control, it is easy to forget that He has always met our needs, and has executed His plan in our lives. Let us fall on our face before God and trust Him. The Lord will lead us to the place He promised. We have no way of knowing the impact we will have as we humbly follow his lead.  We simply need to follow Solomon’s direction, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Do not lean upon your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
 
God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

24 So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Numbers 11 Part 1–God, You Are Not Doing Enough…

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“Really!”, I am sure that was what God was saying to Himself.  God delivered these people from 400 years of captivity. They were slaves, and they being worked to death and killed for no good reason. God raised and sent them Moses. He struck Egypt with 10 plagues including the killing of Egypt’s firstborn at Passover. God then led the Israelites out of Egypt; with wealth and treasure lavished on them by their former captors. Once out of Egypt, God parted the Red Sea and led them through on dry land–then destroyed the Egyptians that pursued them.
 
After their release, God led the Israelites to Sinai where He gave them the law. He formed a government for them, and He prepared them to take the land He  promised them.  He led them, fed them protected them and loved them.  Still, they complained about their hardships and their menu.  It wasn’t all the yummy food they got in Egypt, after all.  So God lost His temper–sent fire down and burned the outskirts of the camp…I am sure it aroused some concern. In fact, it scared the people spit-less. Moses prayed and God relented. That should have been enough to remind them–but it was not. Soon the people started complaining about the menu Manna was simply not enough–they thought.  So, God sent so much quail to eat, that the people ate quail till they were sick of it!
 
We see God do so many amazing things, and because He does, we begin to think we are entitled to be blessed. We get angry when God does not move fast enough or well enough to suit our schedule.  We begin to complain and quit being grateful for all God has done. We forget that we have eternal life. We also have purpose and meaning for our journey here.  When we begin to act entitled, rather than grateful–we take away God’s ability to bless us and use us. Like Israel–I am sure God wants to burn “our outskirts”.  We must always walk seeking him. We need to remain grateful for what we have and not be ungrateful for what we do not have.  As we live with grateful hearts, God will meet our needs and prepare us for whatever lies ahead.  
 
God Bless You
Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah,[a] because fire from the Lord had burned among them.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. 11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?

Numbers 10 Part 2–The March Begins

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After all the preparation, God established a nation. He ordered them, fed them, gave them a place to meet and worship. God taught them about Law, order, reverence and faith.  Now it was finally time fir Israel to go and take the land the Lord promised them.  So, as the trumpets sounded, the tribes lined up, the tent of meeting and tabernacle were carefully put away.  The people of Israel set off toward the promised land.  This was the first time they set out under Moses command.
 
Moses invited his father-in -law to remain with Israel. He knew that the Midianite was familiar with this desert and could provide valuable insights and direction as they proceeded. So now this people were on their way. They marched for three days and made their first stop in the desert of Paran.  When they stopped the procedure God set out was followed and the cloud descended back on the tent of meeting–it was time to rest.
 
God spends a great deal of time in our lives, preparing us for the mission. It seems grueling, and often overwhelming as He molds and shapes us for the battles we must face.  The great news is that just as with Israel, God stays with us and leads us,  We cannot give up–though it seems tempting. We must continue to march forward trusting God to lead, guide and direct us. If we will trust Him, God will lead us to the promise of abundant life here, and eternal life with Him.  It is worth the preparation, it is worth the trials and tribulations–God is great and He reminds us in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
 
God Bless You
On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law. 12 Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. 13 They set out, this first time, at the Lord’s command through Moses…Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”30 He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.”

31 But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.”

33 So they set out from the mountain of the Lord and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest.34 The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses said,

“Rise up, Lord!
May your enemies be scattered;
may your foes flee before you.”

36 Whenever it came to rest, he said,

“Return, Lord,
to the countless thousands of Israel.”

Numbers 10 Part 1–The Trumpets

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God ordered Moses to fashion two trumpets of silver.  The trumpets were to be the tool for notifying Israel in all instances.  They were to be used to call meetings and to announce that it was time to move. The trumpets were to be the tools to call Israel into battles, for celebrations, and even to memorialize offerings.  The trumpets were to be the sound that guided Israel. God was specific. The trumpets were to only be blown by the Levitical priests–Aaron’s sons. The signals were specific and procedures were specific.  God knew that moving millions of folks required precision and leadership.
 
God treated these details with the same care he had with all things related to His people.  God remained precise in every step and issue. He wanted each detail documented and each thing done with a sense of worship. God wanted His people to realize that He considered each part of the process, and  He would execute his precise plan in their lives. The Israelites watched as God led them through each part of the preparation. They all realized that He paid attention to each and every detail. The trumpets were a tool that God used to not only signal His wishes for his people; but, also an ever present reminder that He was their leader and His priests, their commanders. 
 
In our lives, God also wants us to remember that He cares for us just as much. His desire is to lead us with the same precision. He allows the Holy Spirit to act as our guide and His word as the trumpets.  We simply need to trust the Lord and His leadership in our lives. We must never confuse His call for the world’s call in our lives. Jesus reminded us–“My sheep hear my voice and they know me.” John 10:27. Like the trumpets, we need to listen and follow God’s leading and leadership. We have to remember the precision with which God leads, and trust that He will lead with that kind of precision in our lives.
 
God Bless You

 The Lord said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out.

“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. 10 Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

Numbers 9 Part 2–Following the Cloud

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The Israelites always knew what God wanted them to do about travel.  It was simple, When the Tabernacle and Tent of Meeting were set up, God descended over the tent in a cloud.  The cloud looked like fire at night. As long as the cloud was over the tent, Israel knew to stay put. When God lifted the cloud, however, that was the signal that it was time to move.  The cloud was also the signal to the people that God was present and leading them.

The Israelites followed God’s lead, flawlessly.  Whether the cloud was over the tent for a day or a month, they stayed put.  If they woke up and the cloud had lifted, they knew to pack up and move.  The Israelites followed that lead the entire time that they were wandering in the desert. It must have been amazing to see the cloud every day and every night, and be reminded that God was right there with the people.

In our lives, we look for the same leadership from God.  We simply want him to descend upon our tent of meeting, and show us when and where to go.  We want God to be as real and present in our lives as He was in the lives of the Israelites.  In reality, that is what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. He leads, guides and directs us.  We simply have to trust in God’s leading. Like the Israelites, we have to trust God and wait for Him to guide us to the next step. We have to believe that God loves us, and will direct us–if we listen and watch for His direction. We must study God’s word, lean on Him in prayer and wait patiently as He guides us through this desert we call life.  As the old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

God Bless You

On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out.21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.