Today you should read: Numbers 2
It may be tempting to see today’s reading as a bit on the boring side. This passage is describing the order in which the Israelites are to camp and how they are to march. It can seem insignificant at first. However, I hope that you will not miss the significance of the passage. Israel was not just a nation but they were an army. The way that God had them camp and march was for the purpose of battle. We do not understand that thought really because many of us will never know what war looks like. We are blessed to have a great army of men and women who go to battle on our behalf. We must always remember to be thankful for our troops and the blessing that they are. However, Israel did not have a separate army. All of their able bodied men were set up to fight. So what can we learn from this passage?
1. Israel was focused on a purpose. If you remember back in Genesis 12:1-9, God appeared to Abram (who later became Abraham) and promised to make him into a great nation. God went on to tell Abram that his offspring will be given the Promised Land. Yet, there was one problem; the Canaanites were currently in the land. (Canaan was cursed because of the sin of his father and he rejected God and punishment was to come upon the Canaanites, Genesis 9-10). So, Moses and Aaron, through the instruction of the Lord, have ordered the tribes of Israel for the purpose of going to battle. God is sending Israel to the Promised Land which He is giving them but Israel will have to fight for it. However, it is a twofold plan, Israel will receive the land of promise and God will use Israel to punish the Canaanites that are in the land. Israel is preparing to fulfill God’s plan and receive his promised blessing. What can we learn from Israel? Don’t we have a purpose as the Church? Matthew 28:18-19 gives us our battle plans yet often we function more like a country club then an army.
2. Israel had the right focus. All of the tribes were to camp facing the tent of meeting; where the tabernacle and the presence of God were. All of the tribes facing the tent of meeting symbolized their reverence and need of God. God was the one blessing them and giving them the strength to carry out his commands. It also showed that God was their leader and their King. Israel did not have a human king at this time. God was their only focus and God was going to lead them to the Promised Land. We can learn from Israel in this regard as well. If we are focused on Christ as our Lord and looking to God’s word for guidance then we will understand the purposes that God has called us to. Also, God will be the one who gives us the strength to carry out His purposes through the power of the Holy Spirit. The question is: How much time do you spend in God’s word daily? Is it important to you? If Christ is not the center of your world then you will never fulfill the purpose that he has called you to.
Posted by: Chad Wiles