Tag Archives: cloud

Numbers 10:11-36: When God says move, you move

“Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony;” (Numbers 10:11 NASB)

Why did they set out on the second month? I have no idea. I know that what ever God has written down is important for us. Just because I don’t fully understand something doesn’t make it irrelevant or unimportant. 

“and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran.” (Numbers 10:12 NASB)

Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, not in Egypt. This is what the Apostle Paul has shown us, but scholars ignored his witness in favor of Constantine’s mother Helena. 

“So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of the LORD through Moses.” (Numbers 10:13 NASB)

We have gone over the names of these tribes and their commanders before and they tell us something about how God moves through history. Many of these men did not live up to their names, we know this because all of them later died in the wilderness due to disobedience. God lists their names to tell us His story, not their stories. 

Different English translations have these names in different order. The meanings of these names and the order are a form of prophesy. 

They did their jobs in order, one by one. They did not step in to do the job of another. God is not the author of confusion. God’s precision fascinates me. We need to have faith in God’s modus operandi. We should not move anywhere unless God moves us. We move when the cloud moves. 

I have lived in the same house for about 42 years, that is a long time but God may tell me to depart. I don’t know if God might call me to move to New York, Los Angeles, Israel, Russia, who knows? Where I move does not trouble me in the least. I will go where God tells me to go and stay where God tells me to stay. God is the one who makes the movement. 

There’s no justice without judgement. There’s no mercy without judgement and justice. Once judgement, justice and mercy are given, that is when trust comes in. The judgement will not be a pleasant experience. A reckoning has to take place. 

“Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, ‘We are setting out to the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you’; come with us and we will do you good, for the LORD has promised good concerning Israel.'” (Numbers 10:29 NASB)

God had a hand in this. The name Reuel means “friend of God.” Every-time Moses spoke his name, he is reminded that God is their friend. God will tell His friend where to set up the next camp. 

God doesn’t write anything in vain. 

“Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.” (Numbers 10:33 NASB)

God knows our weakness. He knows how far we can move. Let’s talk more about the 3 days journey. The first time Moses spoke with Pharaoh he asked for permission for all the children of Israel to take a three day journey to worship Him. We don’t know what month Moses and the elders presented this request to Pharaoh. Many other important events happened on the third day. 

“On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance” (Genesis 22:4 NASB)

On this third day, Abraham was supposed to sacrifice his son. 

“And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.” (Genesis 30:36 NASB)

Jacob and Laban lived three days apart. 

“When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled,” (Genesis 31:22 NASB)

Not all these incidents were matters of life and death. Jacob’s life was not in danger. God was the one who told Jacob to leave. This was not Jacob’s decision.

Joseph was given a vision about the baker and the wine steward that one would live and one would die after there days. 

The cloud protected them in the wilderness. It never slept. It protected them from the sun, from the elements of the earth. There are elements in the spiritual world that God does not want us to see, and He protects us from them.

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.

Numbers 9: ‘Second-chance Pesach’ and being covered by the Cloud

“Thus the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt,” (Numbers 9:1 NASB)

There are two topics in Numbers 9: The Pesach and the cloud.

A second chance

The Pesach discussed at length is the “second-chance Pesach.” The Pesach is so important to God that is it the only one of His appointed times (a.k.a., feasts or festivals; see Leviticus 23), where members of the community are given a second chance to participate if they miss out on it the first time due to ritual defilement because of caring for the dead.  

God takes full credit for the death of the Firstborn of Egypt. Their death freed the Israelites from slavery. There’s no “devil made do it.” God didn’t party, sing, dance for joy when he took the first-born of Egypt. He is not bragging. He’s simply stating a fact. Egypt are the beloved of God, not the enemy of God. 

The people of Israel could not fully keep the other feasts they were being instructed upon, such as Shavuot. There were no first fruits, wheat, barley, etc. to offer but they were able to keep the Pesach at this time. 

Don’t concern yourself about the rebellion of the older generation of Israelites but of the teachable moments God has placed in here for His people. Let’s not look at what the Israelites wrongdoing but at God’s righteousness and holiness. God’s actions, deeds, and purpose should be the focus of our attention. 

Abraham is noted for his faith in God, he had faith in God and believed in Him whole-heartedly before he was circumcised. Abraham was a friend of God. A friend can tell another friend everything. A person can’t trust their servants or slaves wholeheartedly but they can trust their friend. 

This “second chance” Pesach dispensation was for a limited group of people: those who were ritually unclean and unable to keep the first Pesach. 

“But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Pesach, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the LORD at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin.” (Numbers 9:13 NASB)

If the Children of Israel refused to keep the Pesach at its regular appointed time for a reason other than ritual uncleanness, they did not get the forbearance, there was no do-over.  Failure to keep the Pesach with rest of the community was cutting oneself off from Abraham and Abraham’s promises. Excuses such as a football game on TV, misunderstandings with family, work, etc. are not justifications for not keeping the Pesach at its appointed time. 

“If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.” (Numbers 9:14 NASB)

People who don’t keep the Pesach because of ignorance, who don’t know their left from right hand, are not judged, not cut off by God. If a sojourner/stranger wants to keep the Pesach, let him in even if his understanding is limited. 

God is not the author of confusion. He didn’t write the Torah to dumbfound us but to mold us into the image of His Son. 

The cloud

What is the cloud? What is it covering?

“Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning. So it was continuously; the cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.” (Numbers 9:15–16 NASB)

The cloud covered the Tabernacle, not the entire camp. The cloud covered the mercy seat by day and a fire by night but it’s not a consuming fire, it’s a source of light. Just as we are to be a source of light, but not a burning fire. 

“At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out; they kept the LORD’S charge, according to the command of the LORD through Moses.” (Numbers 9:23 NASB)

When the cloud moved, the children of Israel moved. When the cloud stayed, the children of Israel stayed, regardless of the conditions. Whether it was three days, a month or a year, they stayed when the cloud stayed and they moved when the cloud moved.

God uses the cloud to show the children of Israel and us on a journey, which we will read about more in Numbers 10. The people knew what to do. 

God, through the cloud, is guiding them on a journey. When we say to God, “I don’t want to move,” it’s not pleasant. When God moves and we move with Him, we learn so much about Him and love Him more. God is the director. 

If you don’t want to be a part of Him, if you reject the promise of Abraham, God will cut you off from  the people. Cutting off is not a death sentence. God is actually respecting the person’s choice to leave if they want to leave. The opportunity for repentance is always there. The opportunity to be grafted back in is also there. God doesn’t let go, we let go. God will bring back those who are cut off through His Son. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

Seventh day of Unleavened Bread: From death to life

Richard AgeeWhat is so special about the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread? What makes it special is not the death of the Egyptians or the fact God “saved” the Israelites from slavery. Rather, God would teach Pharaoh one final lesson about His power, and His people would pass from bondage and death to freedom and life.

Continue reading Seventh day of Unleavened Bread: From death to life