Sunday, May 18, 2014

Numbers 10

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 10. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • God instructs Moses to construct trumpets that are used for a variety of purposes.
  • After 11 months of being in the Desert of Sinai, the cloud (which we read about yesterday) lifts, signaling to the Israelites that it is time for them to move on.
  • The Israelites thus begin the final leg of their journey to an area known as the promised land. Decades earlier, God had promised the Israelites their own territory where they could establish their own culture and essentially run their own country.
  • The journey has not been quick or easy. Most of our weekend reading posts over the last couple of years have focused on parts of the Old Testament that chronicle the Israelites' long journey to the promised land. The Israelites had surely started to wonder whether God would actually deliver on his promise.
  • The "ark of the covenant" was a trunk-like container in which the presence of God physically dwelt during the Israelites' journey. In previous readings (such as Exodus 25) we have seen the ark described in greater detail.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • God always delivers on his promises. Because he is all-knowing, his timing is always perfect; and what we think is the right timing usually isn't. The Israelites probably thought they should have arrived at the promised land several years earlier, but God led them on a much longer journey because it was ultimately better for them and helped them more completely depend on God for guidance and sustenance.
  • Even though the journey took much longer than would have been convenient for the Israelites, the Israelites did not give up on God; they remained obedient. Likewise, we need to seek God and follow his guidance even if we are frustrated by the way things are going.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Are you frustrated by something you thought God should have done in your life a long time ago? Talk to God about how you feel; he loves us and wants us to share openly with him. As is the case in any relationship, sharing our feelings can lead to a stronger connection.
  • Stay committed to God even when it seems like he's not answering your prayers. His timing is perfect and he knows what's best, even if it may not currently seem like that's true.