Week 9

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 Last week’s readings: Leviticus 26-27; Numbers 1-10

What lingers with me this week:

Preparation is important…God prepared the Israelites  for battle by counting.  Moses, Aaron and leaders from each of the 12 tribes took the first census of all the men that were fit to fight.  Final count…603,550.

I am not big on camping…but can you imagine this campsite…it is said that just the men comprised 12 square miles.  How would you keep track of everyone…it’s not like going to Disneyland in matching shirts.  God gave instructions on how the tribal camp should be arranged…no detail was too small or overlooked.

God provided instructions to the Levites who would be serving as priests in the tabernacle…he instructed those that would be taking care of the most holy items.  He spoke of what was necessary to maintain purity in camp.  He made provision for those who desired to be set apart as Nazarites by making special vows before God.  He gave further instructions regarding the tabernacle and the Levites.

Recorded in Numbers is one of the most familiar blessings to us but one that was to be said by the priests to the people:

“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you,
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

Numbers 6: 24-26

How could one tire of hearing those words being poured over their lives?!  Precious…a precious blessing!

The Israelites celebrated Passover…the first time since the original Passover…can you imagine the flashbacks of God’s delieverance for His people?

Once the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it…it had the appearance of fire from evening until morning.  Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out on their journey…wherever it settled, the Israelites encamped. 

The importance of trumpets…God told the people to sound the trumpets …to gather the assembly together…to assemble heads of clans…to assemble the tribes…before battle in their own land…at times of rejoicing…at feasts and festivals…over burnt offerings and fellowship offerings…and as a memorial before God that “I am the LORD your God.” (Number 10: 10).

The cloud lifts and the Israelites travel from the Desert of Sinai and come to rest in the Desert of Paran. 

Moses tells his father-in-law Hobab,
“We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you’.  Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.” (Numbers 10: 29)

Hobab doesn’t want to go on…he wants to go home. 

“But Moses said, “Please do not leave us.  You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes.  If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things that the LORD gives us.” (Numbers 10: 31, 32)

Don’t you love that?  Hobab was weary…he wanted to go back to his home…back to what was familiar…can you blame him?  Moses declares the promises of God AND he tells Hobab of his value to their goal.  Hobab was convinced and stayed…it must have felt nice to be needed as well…he had been built back up…strengthened and refreshed.  Let us not be shy in declaring God’s Words to one another and reminding each other of our God given gifts.

“As the ark and the people set out Moses said,

“Rise up, O LORD!
May your enemies be scattered;
may your foes flee before you.”

Whenever it came to rest, he said,

“Return, O LORD,
to the countless thousands of Israel.”

Numbers 10: 35, 36

I have been limping this week…actually I have been limping for many weeks…I can’t even tell you the exact cause of my knee injury…what I do know is that extra “fluff” doesn’t help…familiar postions/habits don’t bring relaxation only discomfort…misalignment brings pain to other body parts.  Today, I got so tired that all I could do was take a nap…I needed to rest my weary body.  I don’t write this to whine or for sympathy…not at all…

limp (v):

  • to fall short
  • to walk lamely
  • to walk favoring one leg
  • to go unsteadily, falter
  • to proceed slowly or with difficulty

limp (adj):

  • lacking firm texture, substance, structure
  • weary, exhausted, lacking in strength, vigor, firmness, spiritless

Could the Israelites be described as limping or as limp Israelites?  God had brought them out of Egypt…they complained and grumbled…God’s anger burned against them…the people realized they had made a big mistake…they had fallen short…they were a bit shaky and they were weary.  But a tender God rewrites His laws, instructs them in ways to approach a Holy God…He takes His time…He brings order where the people had been in chaos…on those days where the cloud settled…perhaps those were the days they were able to catch a nap. God wanted them to know that they could lean on Him…He would lead and guide them…He would be the Substance on which they could rebuild their lives.

I know…their grumbling and complaining isn’t over…in fact, I am sure that I will moan and groan the next time I take a misstep….but physically or spiritually I want to hobble over to the Lord and gets some healing…some realignment…some comfort…

Don’t forget…God has promised GOOD THINGS…even to those who tend to limp!

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7 thoughts on “Week 9

  1. Mary Lou says:

    I was blessed by your thoughts on the reading this week. When you said that to God no detail was too small or overlooked, that says to me, He’s doing the same thing in my life and always has. Also, where you reminded us to not be shy in declaring God’s Words to one another and reminding each other of our God given gifts…that dear sister is worth telling everyone. And lest, I forget….the importance of trumpets..wow…that made me stand up and shout…Blessings on your day and thank you for sharing all you gleaned from the reading.

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  2. Your thoughts on Number 10 blessed me as well as gave me a giggle. Yep, that is what has happened to my body, limp (adj)-lacking firm texture, it has gone soft in more places than is fair. What blessed me is that God tenderly points out where order is needed and allows us to lean on Him as He leades and guides us. He promises good things! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. How often I’m prone to forget the good when something bad comes my way. I need a holy reminder to draw close and stay near the Lord. To be thankful for so many things. I always enjoy hearing that blessing. I used to visit a Messianic church and that blessing was always said at the end of the service to the congregation. It just sounds so – great! I like what you shared about Moses and his father in law. What a relationship they had with one another. Thanks for sharing this. I’m blessed.

    Blessings in Christ–

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  4. bolovesjoe says:

    Oh Helen, I just journaled on this scripture last week and I gotta tell you: it messed me up. The idea of the immediate abandonment of their established position to follow His presence is awesome. I think of all the spiritual, emotional and logistical road blocks I throw up when God wants to move me from what I know into what only He knows…and suddenly I am humbled by the very people that I was criticizing just a chapter or two before. Such a great story….loved your insight on Hobab too! (and I can’t believe I missed that one when choosing my kids’ names!)

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  5. Helen, I enjoyed reading your notes on Hobab and Moses. How tempting is is to go back to the familiar…just the other day I had a friend declare God’s word to me while reminding me of the gifts He’s given me. I was truly edified. Thank you for another beautiful post.

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  6. Helen, I always look forward to visiting here. Oh girl, why oh why are you in Oregon? I suppose you could say right back, “Why oh why do you live in Pennslyvania?” (smile) Well, it’s where God has us right now and that’s all good. I’m glad for the internet that has connected us in this way.

    I love hearing about what God is showing you in your Bible reading. How about that Hobab, what a cool thought to know Moses said they would share the good things the Lord would give. That’s what I love about blogging. We’re able to encourage each other and share what good things the Lord is doing. It lifts our weary souls.

    I’m sorry to hear your knee is giving you such pain. I’m glad for the rest you were able to take. I’m feeling a bit under the weather with a mild sore throat and aches. Kind of feel like it’s the start of a cold. We’ll see. Sometimes God just wants us to s-l-o-w down.

    Much love,
    Susan

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  7. Mary Lou…one day we will hear that trumpet sound…and what a glorious sound it will be…

    Nise’…you gave me a giggle as well…the body transition isn’t fair or much fun is it…I am glad that He promises good things too…things that will far outweigh…me…oops I mean that will outweigh the stuff we worry about right now…hooray!

    Bo…it has been so interesting to take more time reading the Word…I completely agree…when I try to even comprehend what this massive group of people endured in their trek it does cause a bit more compassion…well…you can always suggest this for a future grandchild’s name…I am sure Hobab would go over swimmingly…

    Mrs. Jules…why do we think the familiar is so good…I sure don’t know…must have to do with the fear of the unknown…what a blessing to have a friend that encourages and speaks into your life…a gem!

    Susan…I think our long distance friendship gives us yet another foretaste of Heaven when all geographic boundaries will be abolished…I can’t quite comprehend that but it will…
    Boomerang…right back at you…I love reading all that you not only discover in the Word but what you diligently are desiring to live out…such an example to me and a blessing as well.
    I know you know better than I do about knees…it feels a bit better but after a long day of errands…it is ready for some ice…take care of yourself…this has been such a bad cold bug season…so with that grab a nap when you can…you need and deserve it.

    Helen

    OH…hope you all like the brighter colors…the black background was a bit too dramatic and bringing me down!

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