And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:
“Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard,
beside the emblems of his father’s house;
they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting.
Numbers 2:1-2 (NKJV)
Our God of order has begun to organize the Israelite camp...
and it is all centered around the tabernacle.
This movable "tent of meeting," that God commanded Moses to build
through the skill and talents of His people,
which holds the Ark of the Covenant... the Ten Commandments.
It was a most holy place... for the presence of God.
But it will not stay in one place forever.
So God needs to have His people ready to move...
not in a random crowd,
but rather formed and fashioned for a purpose;
keeping Him in the center of all they do.
So He gives them direction to set up camp
according to the tribes of Israel...
grouped by the sons of Jacob, under which they were born.
The tabernacle of meeting is in the middle.
And the Levites... which are the tribe set aside to God,
to serve only in the tabernacle... including Aaron and his sons as priests,
along with Moses, giving leadership... camp closest around it.
Then on the East...
the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
On the South...
the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad.
On the West...
the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin.
And on the North...
the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali.
And they raise a standard, a banner, a flag-like emblem...
that represents their heritage within their camp.
And it brings unity and pride to the families camped around it.
And when God gives the call to move...
they will pack up their tents, and stay in this assigned formation.
Holding up their banners,
they will move on around the movable tent of meeting,
guarding it's holy presence...
honoring the God who leads them.
Keeping their safe distance from it,
allowing the Levites to carry the ark.
And as I considered this...
even as I drew it out on paper,
it struck me.
How much like a compass this would be for them.
Centered always around God,
having His presence lead and guide them,
they would stay in this formation...
moving when He said move
and staying when He said stay.
They had to be good campers,
good survivalists, good at navigation.
Reading the sun by day, the moon by night...
knowing true north,
so as to set up camp in the next place.
Dan, Asher and Naphtali always pointing true north.
God is simply so clever...
it's a compass!
Word of God... train me, today...
to let You open my mind to new revelations,
to never cease to be amazed at Your Word, Your truth, Your presence.
I simply love the Word You give!
Be my compass today!
This was the sketch I made while I was reading... in case you wanted to know!
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