Today’s Bible reading is Numbers 9-10, Psalm 46, and Luke 2. Our devotional is from Numbers 9-10.
The first chapters in Numbers are a record of Moses leading the tribes of Israel out of Egypt, instructing and organizing them into a nation dedicated to the God of heaven.
Numbers 1-4 chronicles a census of the tribes of Israel. Numbers 5-6 state the specifics for addressing disease and sin among the people. Because worship and sacrifices were central to Israel’s life as a nation, the Tabernacle of the LORD was located in the heart of the encampment (Numbers 7).
Numbers 9 establishes the Passover as an observance of the nation, serving as a perpetual memorial to the LORD for delivering Israel out of Egypt (Numbers 9:1-14).
Assuring His people, He would never abandon them, the tribes of Israel were comforted by a reminder of the Lord’s presence in their midst; a cloud overshadowed the Tabernacle in the day and a fire was present at night (9:15-16). Making it clear the LORD alone dictates the “starts and stops” of His people, the people followed the movements of the cloud and fire in their journey (9:17-23).
Friend, I would be remiss if I failed to remind you that, though the LORD no longer leads His people with a cloud or fire, He does lead, direct and guide His people by His Word and the wooing of His Spirit.
Paul challenged New Testament believers that we should derive spiritual lessons from our study of His dealings with Israel. Paul writes, “Now all these things happened unto them [Israel in the wilderness] for ensamples [a pattern]: and they are written for our admonition [warning]…”
Understanding the LORD was Israel’s guide during her journey through the trials and temptations of the wilderness, we find comfort in this promise:
1 Corinthians 10:13– “There hath no temptation [trial; test] taken you but such as is common to man [i.e. many others have faced the same]: but God is faithful [trustworthy; true], who will not suffer [permit; allow] you to be tempted [tried or tested] above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape [i.e. pass through], that ye may be able to bear it [endure].”
What a blessed promise! While the cloud by day and fire by night served Israel as a reminder of God’s presence, He has given us His Word and promise that He will tenderly care, protect, strengthen and be with us.
Whatever test or trial you may face, be assured, God is faithful and you are never alone!
Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith