Numbers 8 – Numbers 10
Numbers 11 – Numbers 13
The trip to the Promise Land begins . . . and so does the grumbling. Or, so I should say, the trip to the Promised Land resumes . . . and the the grumbling continues.
We’ve read through he book of Leviticus, and perhaps forgot that our friends, the Isrealites, have been on a journey out of Egypt to the a land flowing with milk and honey. We’ve spent so long focusing on life in and around the Priest and the Tabernacle, that we might forgotten there is a destination in mind for this great crowd of people. Now, the journey resumes, as the cloud of smoke lifts off of the Tabernacle, God guides and directs the travels of the people.
Sometimes they would travel for a day.
Sometimes they would set up camp for days on end.
Lets not forget, this wouldn’t have been an easy process. 1.5 million people, living in tents, herding flocks, traveling with everything they have. Not easy. Add to that the Tabernacle. Every time they moved, each post, beam, curtain, pot, utensil, lamp-stand, altar and Ark of the Covenant had to be moved.
Sometimes only to be set up for a day.
Sometimes to be set up for weeks on end.
But always without notice.
Always as God’s cloud of fire and smoke directed.
Having moved nine times in my 17 years of ministry, I can understand the stress the Israelites must have been under! No wonder they complained! As they complain, what is the one thing they complain about . . . food. “Give us meat to eat!”, they cry out. God responds by providing quail along with another one of my favorite scripture passages:
“You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days,but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you!”
Good stuff! Quail (very tasty if you’ve never had it) bleeding out of your nose. Yummy!
Finally, after a long journey, the Promised Land is in view, but we aren’t ready to inherit it yet because . . . God won’t protect us over these giants. Oh, you of little of faith.
Our next reading: Numbers 14 – 15