Archive for October 22nd, 2011

Numbers 9

Numbers 9 gives us some great examples of how we need to listen to God.  It begins with these words: “the Lord spoke to Moses”.  We serve the same God as Moses did.  He is speaking to us as well.  Sometimes we forget that reality.  God is speaking to you and me just like He did to Moses and Aaron.  The question is not whether He speaks – it is whether we listen.  In this chapter the message that God gave was around celebrating the Passover.  Moses received God’s word and passed it to the people.

When is the last time you received a word from God?  What did you do with it?  Did you share it?  Or did you even pay attention to it?  God gives us His direction for one reason – so we can obey.  Check out how the people responded to God’s word through Moses: “according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did”.  Did you catch that?  They did ALL that God told them to through Moses.  They didn’t think about it.  They didn’t ponder it.  They didn’t sit there and think ‘I’m sure glad God had that word for _____(fill in the blank)’.  They DID it – ALL of it – NOW.  That is what obedience looks like my friends.  Oh that we would become those kind of Christ Followers.  Hear God’s direction and do it immediately.  The world would be a very different place indeed.

There were exceptions or challenges though.  A group of folks came and brought their unique issue – they had touched a dead body and were unclean and couldn’t celebrate the Passover by law.  So they asked Moses what to do.  His response?  He didn’t just give His opinion.  He didn’t just send them away.  He said “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you”.  Now that is a novel idea isn’t it.  Just ask God – use the word none of us like – wait – and seek God’s answer to the question.  Moses didn’t share his opinion.  He didn’t give any advice based on his experience.  He didn’t offer anything other than a direct line to God.  And he showed them what we all need to do when we are unclear – ask and wait.  God answered and gave him the solution – they were to celebrate a month later.  But the key is that when there was a need for direction – Moses asked.  God answered. Then obedience can occur.

We learn toward the end of the chapter that this was their lifestyle.  They are wandering on their journey to the Promised Land.  “As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp”.  They lived obedience – they followed the cloud.  If God didn’t move – they didn’t either.  What a picture of what our life should be like as a Christ Follower.  Today we would punch the address into a GPS and take off on our own.  We only need God when we are so lost we can’t find our own way or at least believe we can.  But check out what scripture tells us: “Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out….They kept the charge of the Lord”.  When is the last time you waited on the Lord?  When is the last time you even asked for direction before you set out?  Often our approach is to do what we want and if we get in trouble, then we ask for help.  We do our thing and pray that God will bless what we are doing.  We don’t start with ‘show me what to do’ – we decide that and then ask God to bless it.  That is not what Moses teaches us here.  We need to start with God and be willing to wait for His plan.  Then we can move obediently with confidence!

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