Daily Hope

March 23, 2022 - Numbers 8-10

Being in one location and living there for a period of time allows you to become comfortable with stores, parks, schools and the little nuances of an area that no one but the locals know. It was enjoyable to visit Hawaii because our daughter-in-law grew up there and knew where to go and how to get to places despite the traffic.

Israel had now been at the base of Mount Sinai for about a year, and they are approaching the second Passover (9:1). In preparation for this important feast the cleansing and dedication of the Levites was to be accomplished. The Levites had designated duties in and around the tabernacle and needed to be purified to perform their jobs. Water was sprinkled on them, and they washed themselves before shaving their entire bodies. To complete their cleansing, they were to wash their clothing. Finally, they offered wave, burnt and sin offerings before the Lord.

In the second year after leaving Egypt, the Lord commanded the children of Israel to keep the Passover and only those who were clean were able to observe this event. Some of the men were unable to keep the Passover due to being defiled by the death of an individual. Upon Moses' request the Lord gave specific instructions for those unclean to observe the Passover on the next month (9:9-14).

The people of Israel had a powerful image of the Lord when a cloud covered the tabernacle on the first day it was erected. It became the indicator for when the nation was to remain in camp and when they were to move. When it lifted, the people were to move out of the camp and follow the Lord's leading (9:23).

In preparation for travel, the Lord instructed Moses to make two silver trumpets that would be used to call and give direction to the congregation of Israel. These trumpets were used to summon leaders or the entire congregation together, to signal when to break camp, and lastly, when to prepare for battle against their enemies. Aaron and his sons were the ones responsible for blowing the horns for both civil and spiritual activities.

After this, the nation finally was instructed to leave the dwelling place around Mount Sinai. The cloud lifted, the horns blew and the tabernacle was taken down. The tribes set out in accordance with the established plan. The nation of Israel had begun their journey to the promised land. A beginning probably filled with both anticipation and anxiety as they ventured into the unknown.

No matter how far we move or how assured we are of a new location, there are plenty of surprises which await. Friends, siblings, and the guidance of the Lord provide daily assurance and confidence to us. Moses created a verse or song (10:35-36) that he repeated each time the cloud and ark moved out or settled and rested. Perhaps a song or a scripture verse could assist us as we begin each day. May we also have the confidence that the Lord is before us and resides with us.

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