The Camp of Israel
Book of Numbers Chapter 2: 1, 2, 34 Chapter 9: 15-18; Chapter 10: 35, 36
I do not know about anyone else, but when I was lost and out in the world, I lived one chaotic day after another.
The very first day I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, I began to have “order” in my life.
As Israel began what would become a forty-year journey from Egypt it started as a journey in chaos.
They had no home.
They belonged to no nation.
They lived in tents.
They did not know where they were going.
They did not trust their leaders.
They did not have enough food or water for more than the next day.
They owned the clothes on their back and truly little else.
The riches they borrowed from Egypt could not buy them anything.
Psa 107:4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
Psa 107:5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
The Book of Numbers gives us a permanent true record of the “wilderness wanderings” of Israel.
In the forty years that Israel wandered in the wilderness, all those who lacked faith died off and a new generation became a mighty nation because they began to trust God.
Again, we ask ourselves why we need to know these things and that answer is simple.
We can grow in our own faith and see the Love, the Grace, and the Forgiveness, of our Almighty God as we study this new nation of Israel.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
1Co 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
These are some exceptionally good reasons to study the Old Testament and all the Word of God.
We learn that it is in our nature to fall into unbelief and rebellion. We have a sin nature.
It is in our nature to complain and grumble about the life that has been dealt to us. We all think we deserve more than we have.
It is our relationship with our Holy God where we learn that we have purpose because there is purpose behind everything the Lord does.
The first thing they needed was “faith”!
The first thing we all need is “faith”!
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Let’s begin in Chapter 2.
*Num 2:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Num 2:2 Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.
By placing the Tabernacle in the center of the camp, God made it known that He dwelt in the midst of His people, and He would be their guide to the Promised Land.
We simply cannot trust this road the world is on and only God can tell us how to get to the true Promised Land!
Num 2:17 Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.
The children of Israel began to see that they were indeed a mighty army.
We should not forget that even though these people had been slaves all their lives, Moses had been trained in military tactics and before God decimated the Army of Egypt, that army was indeed the supreme army of that part of the world.
That thing now history, we need to focus on the Almighty God, and this was to be the first lesson for this new nation of Israel.
We must trust our Creator, our Maker!
Another thing we should see is, that under the right conditions our God will indeed live amongst His people.
In fact this is the goal of Jehovah God.
God wants to live amongst all those who love Him!
Every tribe was to pitch their tents in one area. There was to be order.
We should understand that the family is important to God, and we should do our absolute best to keep the family intact.
Today most families are broken, each going their separate ways.
1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
We should all know our place in the family.
It is God who dictates where we live, when we are born, and it is God who appoints the bounds of our habitation, just as He did Israel.
Eze 20:6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
Eze 20:7 Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
It is not up to other nations or the United Nations, to dictate the lands that God gave to Israel!
We see that God has made His house, the Tabernacle, to be in easy reach from all points of this new nation.
You see God is always available to meet our needs if we only trust Him.
He is just as close as a prayer and He knows all our thoughts!
Even today, God dwells in the midst of each and every true Church, but do not expect Him to be where the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are not welcomed!
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together “in my name”, there am I in the midst of them.
His name is the Lord Jesus Christ!
The only way this nation of Israel would advance was to give God, Jehovah, the prominent place in the midst of its people.
The only way the church can advance today, is to give the Lord Jesus Christ the prominent place in the Church and follow Him!
We must follow all the Word of God which gives us direction, peace, and order!
The Church that was once a mighty army is now filled with wimps and compromisers and taught to bow to the will of man’s laws.
God will guide and bless only those who follow His instructions and walk in the direction He points out to us!
God’s directions are given to us in the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit who lives within every true Christian!
The standard of the Church is still the Lord Jesus Christ, and we must place our tent under His standard and stand fast as the family of God.
It is called obedience.
*Num 2:34 And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers.
Remember Moses is a type of Christ Jesus.
We need to do exactly what Jesus says to do!
When we go against the Lord Jesus Christ, we are going against God!
Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
There must be absolute compliance to the Word of God!
The Church that does not obey God is not then a Church, no matter what the Church leaders say!
We do not have the authority to question the Word of God!
Psa 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
If the Word of God is settled in Heaven, how do we think we can change what God has given to us?
Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven;
We have victory in Jesus only as long as long as Jesus rules in our heart! Remember what Ephesians Chapter 5 verse 6 says.
God will only show up to our gatherings if we are obedient to Him!
God will not live in a house filled with disobedience to His Word.
Chapter 9 Verse 15
*Num 9:15 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.
Num 9:16 So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.
This cloud is symbolic of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; “and a cloud received him out of their sight”.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
How will the Lord Jesus return to Rapture His Church?
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And we must not forget about the day the Lord transfigured before some of His disciples.
Luk 9:34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
Luk 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
We must understand that the Lord uses the clouds to cover His glory to protect the earth from mass destruction until He is ready to reveal Himself on the day of Judgment.
Mar 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
This world will witness the awesome power of the Shekinah Glory of the Lord about seven years after He removes His Church!
Peter, James, and John just got a little taste of the Glory of God, the Shekinah Glory.
2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
This was the same glory that appeared over the Tabernacle during this wilderness journey of Israel.
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Every Born-Again Child of God will witness the Glory of God when we meet Him in the clouds:
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It was this same Glory of God that led these children of Israel through the wilderness those 40 years.
This same cloud changed its appearance at night so these children of Israel would know that the Lord is God of the Day, and He is also God of the Night!
You see it is only by the Lord Jesus Christ we have purpose and direction for our lives!
*Num 9:18 At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.
Num 9:19 And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not.
This would have been an impressive sight to witness but in the end, it is not these things that get us closer to the Lord, it is that fact of “faith”!
These children of Israel knew without a doubt that the presence of God was with them at all times, yet it did not stop their rebellious and sinful ways.
We should understand that at the command of God we need to move and at the hovering of God we need to stand still, and, in both cases, we must know that the Lord is with us at all times, good or bad.
If the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle these Children of Israel knew they were to stay.
If that cloud moved from being over the Tabernacle, then it was time to pick up their things and move.
God uses the Holy Spirit who lives within us to show us these things today.
What did Jesus say?
Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh_14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh_14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
These people of Israel had the Tabernacle, but each believer is now a Temple of the Lord.
1Co_3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
We should understand that this Cloud and this Fire does give us an idea of just how powerful our God is.
All the things of Creation should fill in the blanks of just how powerful our God is if we have any questions!
And it was the death, the burial, and the resurrection of our Savior, that teaches us He is God forever and He is not afraid to use that word and use it often!
God guides us still today and He will continue to guide us until He takes us home to be with Him forever if we are obedient to Him!
*Num 10:35 And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.
Num 10:36 And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.
When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Holy Spirit enters into us to remain forever, we will find that the Holy Spirit (He is God) will be faithful in leading and guiding us step by step, day by day, until we reach our final destination (the New Heaven) and even then, He will never leave us.
God has promised to be faithful to us throughout our entire journey to the glory world!
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
If we take the time to read the Word of God, we will understand that we are on the winning side!
We will face trials and tribulations in our walk with the Lord, but the Lord promises us victory and rest throughout an eternity.
God promised this new nation of Israel if they would trust Him, He would be with them and provide all their needs just as He does the Church today.
Moses began each day warning the world that those who hated the Lord should just get out of the way.
We know our enemies are lurking all around us as they were Israel and still are, but this will not change the end result of victory for the Lord and for those with saving faith.
God is our dwelling place if we love Him, and He will always be!
This great march to the Promised Land had finally begun.
In type this represents the journey of every new believer.
I remember well my forty-year journey in the wilderness of sin, but the Lord Jesus Christ ended that journey and has set me on the path of righteousness to the true Promised Land.
When the Lord Jesus Christ arose from that borrowed tomb, He gave the death blow to His enemies and our enemies, and they will truly be scattered in Hell because they chose to be there not because they were destined to be there.
They will flee before the Lord!
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.