Verse 23: At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
These verses made me smile because of their repetition. When the cloud goes up, you must move camp. When it comes down, stop and camp. Up, move. Down, camp. On the one hand, it almost sounds comical. But God needed to guide the Israelites in a very concrete and unmistakable way. Even with instructions directly from God, mistakes are made. The people needed to wait on God to get on with what was important to them, moving through the desert. The cloud might sit over the tabernacle for many days, causing them to wait. God was in control. In some ways, it was as if God were training the Israelites to look to him for guidance. I need to work on that communication so it becomes clearer to me whether to move or to camp. Any decision I make should include God, listening for His guidance.
Holy One, help me to stop and listen for you. You are there for me, with direction. Amen
pic by Kay