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Numbers 9

January 31, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Whether it was two days, a month, or longer, the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle. But when it was lifted, they set out.”

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Numbers 9

“Whether it was two days, a month, or longer, the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle. But when it was lifted, they set out. They camped at the Lord’s command, and they set out at the Lord’s command. They carried out the Lord’s requirement according to His command through Moses.” Numbers 9: 22-23

While traveling around the world in a Christian rock band, I stumbled into a few exciting situations and met some amazing people. One such encounter happened at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.

Our concert at the Academy happened to fall on the induction weekend for the new Academy plebes. Shortly after our band’s soundcheck, an upperclassman gave me the “psssst…” sign. I inclined his invitation. After we walked around the corner, he asked, “You want to see something cool?” Of course, I did! He led me to the projection room of a theater where they were “hazing” the underclassmen.

Then, the hazing stopped abruptly, and they began projecting patriotic and battlefield images onto the theater’s movie screen. This group of sleep-deprived and thoroughly hazed late teens went wild! The energy and patriotic fervor were quite remarkable. The upperclassmen reminded the newbies of America’s tradition of military superiority and exactly why the “United States” is worth fighting for.

The book of Numbers describes how God regimented Israel into a disciplined nation. After the tabernacle was assembled and the Levites consecrated, the Lord’s first command was for Israel to remember. They were to observe the Passover. The Lord knew that Israel’s remembrance of their slavery, their bitter tears, and His deliverance was imperative to make their wilderness “boot camp” endurable.

An interesting phenomenon occurs in boot camp: All personal identity is diminished, and the “company” identity develops. Everyone gets the same haircut, the same uniform, and endures the same hardship. Nobody has a predictable sleep or eating schedule. It makes no sense, except that everyone goes through it together. That’s how war is. Likewise, God generally chooses to bond His people through adversity. That’s how life is.

Adversity produces better followers than miracles produce. This is simply because the individual undergoing adversity learns to listen to and obey the leader’s voice. Additionally, the individual learns to work alongside like-pursuant members of their Christian community.

Take a moment to remember life before your personal deliverance through Jesus. Now, commit yourself afresh to trust & follow Him wherever, whenever, and however He leads. Remember, the Lord has a plan, and He always chooses rightly.

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