Reading Numbers 1 – 14 today, we find an accounting; and there; probably by some people’s accounting; is little grace. However, I find that assessment of “little grace” hard to accept. It is, afterall, by God’s grace that He gave us Law.
The very first sentence of Numbers is,
“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying…” Numbers 1:1 (KJB)
That phrase is used at least 13 times in the first 14 chapters. Moses listened, and the words Moses heard we must hear as well as they are applicable in grace and mercy.
I have a couple of sets of verses we will look at today. The first is when Moses enters into the Tabernacle;
“And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and He spake unto him.” Numbers 7:89 (KJV)
With the building of the Tabernacle finished and set up after the direction of the LORD; Moses enters into the finished work, to hear from the Creator/Architect. To hear the voice of the one who is Lord of all is the desire of every child of God. Most of the time it has been the LORD who is speaking; and that is as it should be.
Far too often we want to speak, even to God; and He approved of us speaking to Him; however, it is first necessary that we listen to and hear Him. It is His heart we need when we come to Him. It is He who gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4); we find those desires by knowing Him, His heart, and hearing His Word.
How do we know when it is time to do something? Say, to move from where we live, to move out of what has become called our “Comfort zone”, and into a place less comfortable, or more threatening? We often leave it to circumstances, our feelings, or outside or inside pressure (Outside pressure being from the people around us). When did the children of Israel know when to pack up and leave where they were?
“And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed. At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.” Numbers 9:21-23
By the cloud, and pillar of fire by night. For the Christian that cloud is the Spirit of God within. All of those things mentioned – circumstances, pressure, threatenings all play a part if we are hearing the voice of God. Many times it might not have to be those threatenings or fearful things; if we would but hear God and go the way the Spirit of God leads.
Far too many times we try and jump ahead of God; when what He is wanting is for us to stay, grow, and prosper in Him.
When God moves we should move. When He stops we should stop. If we are not seeing God work, then that is God’s invitation to stop and take an assessment of our lives. We do not force God to move, nor should we move without God’s move. So many do, and end up discouraged, in doubt and darkness.
The way to go is the way of God through His Son Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God in you is Christ in you.
If you are not hearing the Lord speak to you; you are most likely not acquainted with the written word, and maybe not even the Lord Himself. God speaks to His children through His word.