Today you should read: Numbers 2
Welcome to the book of Numbers! This book is often skipped, ignored, or rushed through… but it’s rich with history and exciting stories. I hope you enjoy our journey through it. The beginning chapters are an important census of the people of Israel instituted by God.
In today’s chapter, the final verse says:
So the people of Israel did everything as the LORD had commanded Moses. Each clan set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the LORD had instructed them.
WOW! Israel obeyed God… I wonder how things would have changed if they did that consistently? We see in the stories that follow lack of trust (12 spies) and lack of obedience to God’s instructions that cause forty years of wandering in the wilderness before claiming the land God had promised them.
How often do we wander because of our disobedience? Maybe it’s not as obvious as their blunder, but our sin keeps us distant from God, lacking direction, and distracted in our Christian life. How much simpler would our lives be if we just obeyed God? Remember, things go better when you do them God’s way!
What had God commanded them to do? What instructions did He give them? Verses 1-2 give us this insight:
Then the LORD gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron: “When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on four sides of the Tabernacle, but at some distance from it.
Set up camp under your family banner… families living and worshipping together. God still desires this for us today. What was the Tabernacle? It was a mobile Temple – Temple in a Tent so to speak. It was where God’s presence would dwell and where sacrifices for sin were made.
Notice that God instructs His people to camp surrounding it. For the protection of it – but probably more importantly for focus on it. Every time the entered or left their tent, what did they see? God’s House. This is a very powerful reminder of who to worship (not the idols they were drawn to). Interestingly, God’s House was in the center – God was the center point of the community.
When we started Center Point Church 15 years ago, it was our dream to start a church where God was at the center point. We based it on Colossians 1:18…
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
When this is true in the church, in the community, or in the family things just work out better. Let’s remember this important lesson as we live our lives today.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor
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