Thoughts on Numbers 9

Rule, Reaction, Referral, Response

The Rule

“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. (Numbers 9:2 ESV)

Rules are given by God as guidelines to help men understand how to approach a Holy God.

The Reaction

And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the Lord ’s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” (Numbers 9:7 ESV)

First, they remembered and understood a previous rule so we give them credit for that. Second, their hearts are right, as is what is important to God more than just mindlessly obeying the rules.

The Referral

And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.” (Numbers 9:8 ESV)

Excellent move by Moses! Many times we are quick to answer for God. He is available and willing to give us His decisions regarding unclear matters. We are to understand the Scriptures, yes, but our ultimate goal is to understand the One who wrote it.

A guideline could be, instead of just asking “What does the Bible say about it?”, we can ask “What does God say about it? Let us pray and read His Word.”

The Response

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the Lord. (Numbers 9:9, 10 ESV)

God will respond. Why wouldn’t He? Especially to people who want to do right by Him. Pray expectantly, listen intently, obey unwaveringly.

And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. (Numbers 9:17 ESV)

When we take care of the temple of God, we can feel – and see – His presence over it. If we can see God, we can keep in step with His movements. And we should be ready when He does move. Whether in this life or in preparation of the life after, we should hold the things of this world lighty. Don’t bear so many burdens. Travel light.

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