God Among Us

I’ve been making my way through the Old Testament, chronologically, these past several months and it’s been an interesting several months to be sure.  

There are mornings when I feel bored to distraction and work really hard to catch a glimpse or a nugget from among the begats and the counting and the sacrifices and the laws. There were so. many. laws.

There are some mornings when I have to focus on S-L-O-W-I-N-G down so I don’t miss the staggering glory of a God we serve. 

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Wading through all the shalls and shall nots can seem mundane and well – restrictive.  Until I remember that God takes the welfare of His people very seriously. There were mostly likely over a million people needing to get to the Promised Land.

{The Bible lists the total number as , 603,550, however this count only included males who were 20 years and older and able to go war.  It did not include the Levites, women, children, the elderly or the infirm}.

I suppose the raising up of a new nation takes time and a sheer abundance of organization. 

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So as I’m pondering the finer points of moving a million people across the desert I notice that God has even organized how the Israelites will break down camp and who will follow whom when the cloud begins to move from over top of the Tabernacle.

“What’s the point,” I mutter to myself?  

Really, it’s THAT important?” 

And then I come across this verse:

“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.”           Numbers 2: 17

You have to understand why this is so important.  The Tabernacle does not lead the way.

I just figured it would, you know? 

Let me say it again.  The Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies, The inner sanctuary where God dwells did NOT march ahead of the Israelites.

The tribes of Judah, Issachar, Zebulun broke camp first and then came the Levites – with the Tabernacle

It seems inconsequential doesn’t it?  I mean does it really matter? 

I think it does. 

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Here’s the thing.  While the Israelites were out wandering the desert God never brought up the rear and He never moved so far ahead of the people that they didn’t know He was with them. 

God was always in the midst of His people.

Holy among them.  Powerful among them. Caring among them.  Loving among them. 

God was in the middle of whatever it was that they were doing.

And He does the same for you. 

God’s not bringing up the rear of your life.  He’s not trailing behind you picking up the the pieces of your shattered world and wondering what to do with them.  He’s not chasing after you with your broken bits and He’s not moving so far ahead, leaving you scrambling to catch up.

Not. Even. Close. 

God is in the midst of our lives.

He is there helping us put one foot in front of the other.  As we break and this world shatters He is right there catching all that brokenness in order to make it whole once again; to mend it with His glorious grace. 

God doesn’t pick up the pace and move ahead when we’re stuck and He doesn’t watch our lives from the distance.  

He remains a constant presence in your now .

He meets you right where you’re at.

 

 


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