The Book of Numbers – God’s hand, His leading and us following

Scripture Passage: Numbers 9

Passover Celebration

Numbers 9:1-3The Lord spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said, “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.”

In Exodus 12, we read about the Passover. The blood of the lamb, applied to the door posts of the home, was seen by the angel of God’s judgment – and seeing the blood, the angel “passed over” and spared the home covered by the blood of a lamb. Passover was to be kept as a continual reminder of this occasion of deliverance and the freedom from slavery that followed.

As we read verse 1 of this chapter, we notice that the Lord gave these instructions on the first month of the second year and Passover was to be celebrated on the 14th of the first month. When we look back at Numbers 1, the day the Lord gave instructions for the census of the people to be taken, it was the first day of the second month of the second year. Chronologically this takes place before they organised their camps and started their journey towards the promised land.

Before the start of their journey through the wilderness, they were to set aside this time to reflect on God’s gracious deliverance. The importance of remembering and giving thanks often for what God has done is something that we can all take away from this passage.

Regularly looking back at God’s hand over our lives

  • Builds our faith
  • Keeps our eyes on Jesus
  • Reminds us of our reliance on God, helps protect us from living from a place of self-sufficiency.
  • Steers us to look away from our circumstances that can make us doubt
  • And it protects us from the lies the enemy whispers, coxing us to take matters in our own hands and step out of God’s will.
  • Helps us have a heart of gratitude when we can tend to focus on one thing that might not go our way and forget his multiple mercies through the day.

God’s grace and mercy

In verses 6-7 we read that some of the people who became ceremonially unclean because of association with a dead body and thereby could not partake in the Passover, expressed that they wished to follow God’s command and offer their thanks to God too.

Moses replies “Wait until I find out what the Lord commands concerning you.”

In verses 10-12 we read God’s response, he instructs Moses giving permission to celebrate a month later, following all the rules and regulations in cases where there is a legitimate reason.

For us: God was gracious to their legitimate predicament. Just like he provided grace for them, he does for us too. God sees our hearts and if in it lies genuine desire to follow His word, he hears us and meets us where we are at.

The Lord provided protection for the people, for which they set time aside to remember and offer thanks. The people were not meant to compromise on how they offered their thanks. Moses inquires of God to ensure that all the people could partake in the Passover as God commanded and yet not compromise in the how and disrespect God’s holiness to do so.

But the Lord does not just end his response to Moses query, he adds on.  But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.”  

For us: As we read this part of the passage, we start off by seeing a God who is merciful, providing an alternative to those who are ceremonially unclean and then we read a warning and punishment for those who neglect to follow God’s command. This is a warning but also an act of mercy. God gives these instructions to Moses, for the people to know with clarity what is pleasing to God and what is not. It shows both a sense of responding to the human condition in mercy, and also a sense of sternness in response to the human condition. We are not to take advantage of the Lord’s goodness knowing full well what he requires of us.

God further addresses the issue of a stranger who resides among them and if they were to express their desire to partake in the Passover. The stranger was to do so in complete compliance with God’s standard of how Passover was to be celebrated. The rules and regulations were not compromised.

For us:

  • As followers of Christ, we should be mindful to not allow the world’s standard to define our lives and end up compromising on God’s standard for righteous living.
  • Neither should God’s word be made more palatable to accommodate the worldly sensibilities of those who live in contrast to God’s will. The whole truth of God’s word, His love, grace, and judgement should be preached and taught.

You lead and I will follow

Numbers 9:15-17 “On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning, the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.” 

Whenever the cloud moved, the people set out and followed and when the cloud stayed, the people stayed. The best place to be, was under the covering of the Lord, be it in camp or while they moved. And the best place to step into is where God would lead them towards. The Lord led and they followed. God’s design of his presence with his people and him leading them would also require the people to constantly have their focus on God and what he has to say.

For us: Are we paying attention to Him as we go about our day, are prepared to follow God’s leading? Will we willingly stay when He says stay and go when He says go? Too often we want to move first and the presence of God to tag along with us. This made me reflect on words we often pray, ‘Lord be with me today as I go about my day’. Maybe I need to be a bit more intentional in how I word it, asking God to lead me in all that the day holds for me and that I would follow.

Friends, for each of us I pray that we go about our days with God leading and us following, and also take the time to often reflect on God’s hand over our lives and actively giving thanks.

God Bless.

13 thoughts on “The Book of Numbers – God’s hand, His leading and us following

Add yours

  1. I really appreciate the way God wanted the people to celebrate the Passover, as a way to remember His goodness. When we keep our eyes on all He has done for us, it can help us to keep joy in our hearts. (And we can see with the Israelites in other chapters, when they take their eyes off of God and all He has done for them, they fall into a bad habit of complaining.) I also love the simplicity of God leading and His people following. Sometimes we make life complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. We merely have to follow the Lord. This post and the reflections in it have brought me some peace about things I have been wrestling with. So thank you for that! Blessings, my friend! 🦋🤗💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true Bridget, keeping our eyes on all God has done for us helps us keep joy in our hearts.
      Thank you my friend, so glad this post brought some perspective with things you are wrestling with now. Sometimes we just need these reminders, even though we know them, it hones our focus back to those things when we read them again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the reminder to look back and remember God’s faithfulness. That is a huge help as we move forward in our relationship with Him. Also as you mentioned it’s important to be intentional about following God’s leading and making His will a priority. We are here for His purposes and we need to follow Him and seek Him in all we do. Thank you Manu. Have a blessed weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True Dawn that looking back in His faithfulness makes a huge difference in our relationship with Him. It adds perspective, humility, dependence, thankfulness and so much more. Have a blessed weekend too 💙💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Passover is such an important reminder of the covenant of protection which God had towards his people. As we now observe the Lord’s supper as Jesus Christ has become our Passover lamb and his blood now covers our homes and families. We thank God that we no longer live under the rigid system of the Old Testament law, which was a type and shadow of things to come. The New Testament perfected what the law could not do, in Jesus dying on the cross. What a precious God and we keep in remembrance all that he has done for us. 🙏🏾❤️🙌🏾

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Neither should God’s word be made more palatable to accommodate the worldly sensibilities of those who live in contrast to God’s will.” Amen. This is the very thing God has put on my heart this week. Blessings, Manu!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Manu, A wonderful reminder to constantly have our focus on God and where He is leading us. May I always be grateful and exhibit a heart full of gratitude for God’s mercies. Blessings! 💖🌹🌺

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