-Finding The Way: Knowing God’s Will
One of the most helpful lessons that we can learn from the Israelites as they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land concerns the way in which they were guided by the Lord. Although they did not know the way, God did – and He was with them. The cloud that rested above the tabernacle signified His presence by day and night. The people’s responsibility was simply to look up and watch that symbol of His presence. If the cloud stayed, the camp must remain where it was; if the cloud began to move, it was time for them to pack up and follow.
The time interval was never specified. They might remain in the same place for two days, a month, or a year (Num. 9:22). It would be useless to move before the cloud did, for they would not know which direction to take! However, to stay put when the cloud moved would be foolish because it would mean that they were refusing the presence of the Lord.
Often we imagine that we know the way, but we don’t. Like the Israelites who had to check the cloud daily, we must look up to the Lord for guidance. If we are not constantly depending upon Him, we might miss His leading. Just as the Lord chose the way they were to take, we must allow Him to choose the way for us. Our own will must be abandoned to His. For the Israelites, the guidance might not always have been convenient.
Some locations might have seemed pleasant, but then the Lord began to move them on. At other times they could become impatient when the cloud stayed put and they wanted to move. Worst of all, perhaps, was when the cloud began to move in the night. Who would want to start packing then?
Our hearts are no different. The Lord’s calls may not always seem convenient to us. We can display the same impatience or reluctance that they did. Obedience is the key element, learning to stay or to move as He directs – for He always knows best.
The life of faith is never trouble-free, but help is never far away. It requires constant waiting upon the Lord for direction. All our human plans must be “God willing.” Remember, the Israelites couldn’t even plan for tomorrow!
Are we uncertain what to do? Jesus said, “I am the Way” (Jn. 14:6). We must go with Him – and when we do, we will discover that He takes care of all the incidentals.
according to the commandment of the Lord they abode in their tents,
and according to the commandment of the Lord they journeyed.”
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org
There’s an old Yiddish saying: Man plans – God laughs.
God bless you with certainty of direction today! Peace, Uncle Tree
Great post! Thank you for sharing this. In the beginning of this year, God put me on the journey of finally reading through the whole Bible. I am on my second time through now, and I am in the middle of the Israelites’ trip through the wilderness. God leading them in a very personal way really stands out to me. They just had to look to him. They had to trust that he knows what he is doing. They had to believe that he knew where he was leading them. Even if it was the middle of the night, they just had to trust him and follow the cloud.
The more I read the Bible, the more I realize that I am Israel. God worked through and led the Israelites as a representation of how he wants to work in the lives of everyone. I am a rebellious sinner, just like they were. I need to trust him. I need to follow his cloud (which for us is the Bible and the Spirit). I need to trust in the sacrafice to make me right with God (Jesus was the sacrafice that all other sacrafices represent). I need to look to Him and trust Him…even if it means doing things that seem bad ideas (like packing up and walking through the desert in the middle of the night).
There will be times that my family will not have much, but God will ask us to give. There will be times that I will not have time, but God will ask me to reach out and help others. There will be times I will not have strength or energy, but God will ask me to pour myself out more for others. The list goes on and on, but I know that my “job” is to just trust Him and move where His cloud is going.
Again, great post!