Daily Devotional: Sunday 2nd August

by William Moody

Numbers 9:15–23

The Cloud Covering the Tabernacle

15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day1 and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. 18 At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the LORD they remained in camp; then according to the command of the LORD they set out. 21 And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. 22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. 23 At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out. They kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by Moses.

Footnotes

[1] 9:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks by day

(ESV)

The presence of the cloud of God’s glory (v15-16) speaks of God’s blessing resting on His people. This happened as the people had obeyed God’s instructions for the tabernacle and worship. God’s blessed presence comes to us primarily through Jesus’ obedience and then as we respond to that in faith as we listen to and obey God.

God’s presence then guided the children of Israel as to whether they stayed or moved on (v17-18). Here we have a people passionate about the presence of God. They saw their future existence and blessing depending on this.

In our lives, in our church’s life, in our worship, in our service we need to have a passion to know the reality of God’s presence with us. Blessing is not something we manufacture with our efforts in our way. Blessing comes as God’s presence is with us and we can know this presence being with us by trusting and obeying God’s word. Pray for God’s presence being with you and your church. Confess any sin that might grieve the Spirit and hinder the blessing of His presence.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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