Stop and Go Traffic
Take time to thank God for the various ways he leads you. Pray to be open to his leading today.
Read Numbers 9:15-23
 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.  That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.  Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.  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.  When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out.  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.  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.  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.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did God lead his people at this time?
While God was already preparing the Israelites for the Promised Land (9:9-15), there was a long way to go. With no maps, let alone a GPS, following God’s direction shouldn’t have been a difficult choice. God’s guidance couldn’t have been clearer. When the cloud was over the tabernacle it meant stay put, and the same at night when the cloud looked like fire (15,16). When it lifted, they moved and followed. Of course, this was no new experience for them. On the way out of Egypt the same thing had happened (Exod. 13:21,22). This was no untested guidance system. For now, they were utterly obedient, and only moved when God said so (23). So why doesn’t God make it as easy for us to know the right thing to do? Cloud and fire weren’t just signposts; they were signs of God’s presence. To know the right way to go they had to stay near to God. Maybe staying near to God is more important than worrying about decisions. We can trust him to show us when we go off track (Isa. 30:20,21).
“If God seems far away, who’s moved?” How close do you feel to God? How can you grow closer?
Lord, keep me close to You, I pray. That way I know You’ll lead me and I’ll know how to follow.
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