“Then the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.”
The Hebrews were in a challenging spot. They needed to gear up for the rigors of their travels. They needed to be organized for hundreds of purposes. And don’t forget – they were not experienced travelers!
“When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy objects and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is to set out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them, so that they will not touch the holy objects and die. These are the things in the tent of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry…but they shall not go in to see the holy objects even for a moment, or they will die.”
It is hard to imagine Someone so holy that humans cannot even touch the objects used to worship Him. I wonder how we will feel about our Father’s holiness when we are with Him in the Kingdom!?
‘When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse will go into her and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people. ‘But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, she will then be free and conceive children.”
While this seemed harsh, many of the laws were given so that the truth of issues could be made known. Israel had grown up in Egypt – now they would learn to follow the Living God. It was a whole new thing.
“Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning. So it was continuously; the cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp.”
Imagine a million plus people and all of their possessions and livestock sleeping in tents around the tent of the meeting at the center of the camp. No street lights. No tv’s. Just the presence of God in the sky above them. Amazing!
The LORD spoke further to Moses, saying, “Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out. “When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting.”
Without cell phones communication needed to occur on a pretty grand scale. This is where the silver trumpets camp in. It was Moses’ way for mass, immediate communication.
“Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.”
What do you think the “fire of the Lord” was? Why was the fire for their welfare? How would they have responded?
He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; with him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?”
Moses enjoyed a special relationship with the Lord God. He was a Hebrew slave snatched from the waters of the Nile. God had His eye upon Moses – just as His eye is on me and you!