Loving Father, I bring all of my worries and troubles to You today. I trust You.
Read Numbers 9:15–23
The Cloud Above the Tabernacle
15 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are you anxious about today? For tomorrow?
God’s people are about to leave Sinai and walk into the unknown. Maybe they looked at the wilderness and wondered, “Which way do we take? Where will we camp? How far should we go each day?” But as they set out, God guided them. After the first Passover, God led them out of Egypt by a pillar of cloud and fire. He continued this through their first year. But here, after their second Passover, his presence with them in a cloud and fire is repeated. In fact, it’s repeated again and again! It takes all these verses just to say, “When the cloud stopped, they stopped; when the cloud moved, they moved.”
Why so much repetition? It underlines that the people were never alone. God led them in every step. And he would lead them right into the land he’d promised them. Only then would the cloud and fire disappear. Only then would they be able to rest.
We too are a pilgrim people. We’re not yet in our promised rest with Jesus. But he is with us. Perhaps we wish we could look up into the sky and see a visible cloud to remind us of that! But we have something much better: we have God himself with us by his Holy Spirit. And he will guide us and lead us safely home.
How does it change the way you face your day, knowing that you are never alone (John 14:18)? Remind yourself as needed today: “I am not alone.”
Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness throughout my life.