I've been reading through the book of Numbers.
I'm gonna be honest, I've done some serious skimming and speed reading this time through this book. I truly do believe that all Scripture is profitable (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17) but the numbers in Numbers can be a little . . . (cringe) boring?!
A few days ago, though, I was so blessed by the passage I read in Numbers chapter 9 that I had to share it with you!
At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not journey. So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the Lord they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the Lord they would journey. So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
Numbers 9:18-23 (emphasis mine)
Note: Did you notice how many times the words "At the command of the Lord" or "According to the Lord" appear in these few verses?
(My pastor would be proud of me for noticing that!)
When God called Josh and I on this adventure, we knew absolutely positively that "the command of the Lord" was for us to GO!
Desiring to be wise, Josh and I talked to many friends and family, seeking their input and counsel. There were several people in our life (okay, probably most of the people in our life) who thought we were CRAZY! There were people who, with the best intentions, voiced their concern about this seemingly radical and potentially reckless decision.
But the metaphorical cloud had been taken up and we HAD to break camp and "Go!"
Over the past three years, we have cycled through staying and going. There is much planning involved, and we've done our best to listen closely to the direction of the Lord. Sometimes we stay in one place for a few days, sometimes for a few weeks, and sometimes for longer.
Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey.
Numbers 9:22 (emphasis mine)
I am so grateful for this reminder that our "going" and our "staying" should be done according to the command of the Lord.
There are plenty of times when God has told me I need to "stay" and I've gotten very restless. Maybe because I'm uncomfortable where I am or maybe just because I'm impatient and want to move on to the next thing. Whatever the case, there are times when it is very hard to stay.
Honestly, though, more often then not, it's not the "going" that's hard, it's the "NOT going"!
(feel free to pause and read that sentence again, I promise it does make sense!)
I find myself quite comfortable in one place, without any new adventures (read: long drives, new faces, late nights, etc. . . )!
But then I watch the cloud dramatically rise up and begin to move on and I hear the Holy Spirit call to me, "Are you coming!?!"
"at he command of the Lord"
Although I am just a few chapters into the book of Numbers, I am familiar with the story of the Israelites. I know how their story ends.
And I know that when God's children follow well! When we are willing to go or stay, according to the command of the Lord. . .
He is with us!
Oh praise the Lord, He is with us! We are never alone. There is no task, trial, mountain, or valley that we must face without our Shepherd. He promises to always be there
He promises that if we will follow Him, He will lead us beside still waters and on paths of righteousness!
(see Psalm 23)
So let's keep following Him.
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
(Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV)
Leviticus & Mark
(the Bible in a year)
Five Children and It
(family read aloud by E. Nesbit)
Middle School: The Inside Story
(by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna)
All Things Gardening, Soil, & Chickens
(not a title, just a list of my current library search topics)