Numbers 2:3-4,9-11,16-19,24-26,31,33-34 “The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners... So the total of all the troops on Judah’s side of the camp is 186,400. These three tribes are to lead the way whenever the Israelites travel to a new campsite. “The divisions of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are to camp on the south side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners... So the total of all the troops on Reuben’s side of the camp is 151,450. These three tribes will be second in line whenever the Israelites travel. “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner. “The divisions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are to camp on the west side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners... So the total of all the troops on Ephraim’s side of the camp is 108,100. These three tribes will be third in line whenever the Israelites travel. “The divisions of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners... So the total of all the troops on Dan’s side of the camp is 157,600. These three tribes will be last, marching under their banners whenever the Israelites travel”... But as the Lord had commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration. So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.
Two million slaves that were freed from exile are now being transformed into a nation that is on the move. How improbable that sounds just like how impossible it is to image the parting of the Red Sea or the daily portion of manna God provided them when they journeyed in the desert.
Is there any relevance to these stories in the Bible and if so, how do they relate to us today?
Historians, scientists, archeologists, economists and academics have over the centuries found it hard to buy into these 'stories' in the Bible because they seem so hard to believe.
To a layman, 'a lot of what is recorded in the Bible is not naturally possible and a reasoning mind would come to the conclusion that what is not within a proven paradigm must not be true'.
How else do you explain Sarah's child bearing at the age of 99, Joseph's ability to interpret dreams, the burning bush that never burnt when God called Moses, the punishments rained on the Egyptians by Moses, the parting of the Red Sea for two million to walk across, etc.
These is all correct inferences if we are of the belief that God does not exist and all religion is a fabrication for the weak mind.
However we do recognize that birth and death are not controlled by man, the sun, moon and stars operate in perfect synchronization, the air we breathe is the perfect mix of gases, emotions are not scientifically explainable, love and nurture bear fruit, healing is recorded and impossible to explain, etc.
If all of life operated by a set of conditions, we obviously have the wrong set of conditions because there is much that works against the laws of science and nature.
The Bible is God's story and every story has been recorded by different laymen led by the Holy Spirit and these stories together speak the only provable truth that has lasted since the origin of humanity.
God has shown us from the beginning of time how He has created us and in every story in the Bible reveals to us our brokenness, our desperate need for Him and in His son Jesus Christ provides us the way back to reconcile with Him.
Today's chapter once again shows us how God organized these millions of people into cohesive groups bound together by love, purpose and submission to God.
God chose who was to lead and who was to follow, gave each person a task and directed them every step of the way.
Judah, from whose tribe was to come Jesus Christ the Son of God, was set to lead just as Christ led humanity. Judah was not the first among his siblings but was blessed by Israel (Jacob) to lead.
There are many leaders but there are far more foot soldiers and the question we really need to ask ourselves is what God is calling us to be.
Everyone who is saved by the blood of Christ is not going to be an evangelist, pastor or deacon but everyone of us are bound by God's love and are empowered to carry His gospel to the ends of the earth.
When we move from thinking about us and our glory to submitting to God and His glory, we will be led forward and together with every believer, serve God to the nations.
In His Loving Service,
Luke 14:8 “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?
Matthew 20:27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.
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