Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
This passage begins with the Lord instructing Moses and the people about Passover, and making accommodations for those who are ceremonially unclean or traveling during the time that it is traditionally celebrated. It then describes how the presence of the Lord in a cloud above the tabernacle determines the camping and setting out of the people. The Israelites move on from Sinai, where we see the Isrealites complain about their lack of meat. When Moses expressed his frustration and anxiety over the situation, God has him gather the leaders of the camp, and shares some of His Spirit with them. God also causes quail to come into the camp, but punishes the Israelites for their rejection of His provision with a plague. These chapters end with Moses facing opposition from his own brother and sister, Miriam and Aaron! God defends His choice of Moses as His spokesperson, and punishes Miriam with leprosy. When Moses prays for her, Miriam is healed, but has to stay outside of the camp for seven days.
What is one key verse?
“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in the camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” – Numbers 9:22
This verse is key to me because in it, the Israelites demonstrate radical trust in God. I cannot even imagine how much trust it would have taken to just pick up and move whenever the cloud lifted, even if it only stayed for a night!
How does what you read change your vision of God?
I am amazed at God’s kindness and patience as I read through these passages. There are so many instances where God could have given up the Israelites as hopeless causes, but instead He chooses to keep working on them. I am reminded of how patient and loving God is with me throughout my walk with Him.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
My vision of others is changed because I am inspired to have more patience with others’ mistakes. Often I can become frustrated, especially when people that I am trying to help keep making the same mistakes. But I see God’s heart towards the Israelites never changes from one of love, even when He allows them to suffer the consequences of disobedience.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I want to have more patience with myself and others when we keep on making the same mistakes. I want to remember that God has a vision for us, just as He did for the Israelites
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
I see Jesus in the way that God deals patiently with the Israelites. In His ministry, Jesus often dealt with His own people making the same mistakes over and over, and He has mercy on them. He sees the crowds as harassed and helpless, and seeks to lead them towards good things, just as God is trying to lead the Israelites towards the Promised Land.