To go or not to go… that is the question.
The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. They lived and camped in tents since leaving Egypt to go to the Promised Land going round and round on a journey that could have been done in just two weeks at most.
Imagine these were at least 600,000 campers. How does one manage the logistics and operations of settling and moving out of camp? Where to camp? When to set out and when to settle down?
God was their guide and director. His presence in the form of the cloud settled over the tabernacle – their portable place of worship. It was cloud by day and fire by night. The cloud is God’s presence over them. When the cloud lifted, they moved out. When it stopped, they stopped. They went wherever and whenever the cloud went.
It dawned on me as I read Numbers 9:15-23 how the people were so obedient to God in the ways of their travel. They complained about food, about water. But not a sound on all the hassles of moving. Imagine going on a trip with no itinerary – no date no specific destination except final destination – Canaan! All the packing and unpacking. Whenever I go on a trip, I rarely take things out of my luggage if it were just for a few days because I don’t want to be transferring things in and out again and again. Yet that was what they did, sometimes they would stay for just a day, other times for few days, month or year (vv.20-22). Imagine setting up the tent, unpacking all your cooking and eating utensils, etc. in the morning and packing them all up again in the evening. Or imagine living from the luggage for a month, 2-3? and you think, time to unpack and only to have the cloud lifting the next day? I guess it’s one day at a time for them.
How I wish God would be as specific in His direction or leading today. But then, would I be as obedient? On the other hand, it would seem I were a child with no discernment of my own to decide for myself what to do with my life. How to know God’s will? God’s will is for me to obey His Word – to love Him with all my heart and to love my neighbor. How, who, what, where, when and why? His Holy Spirit is the cloud settling on me – His temple.
May I watch closely, listen well and obey with a discerning heart and an open mind. One day at a time.