Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 8 May 2022:
Numbers 9:8 — “And Moses said to them, ‘Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.’”
How do you make decisions? Psalm 27 concludes with these words: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Today, we read that Moses waited for revelation from the Lord to make decisions rather than simply trusting in his own reason and judgment. We read of the Israelites: “At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out (Numbers 9:23).” In Proverbs we are reminded, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).” Similarly, Paul was guided by visions from God (Acts 18:9). Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise (John 5:19).”
It is very hard to wait on the Lord. However, the Bible demonstrates time and time again that to walk with the Lord, we must give Him the lead. We see that throughout the Bible, God’s people get in huge trouble when they don’t wait for the Lord – remember Abraham and Jacob? God promised Abraham children and Jacob the inheritance, but they both grew impatient and took matters into their own hands – we are still suffering today for their sins. It takes great faith to wait on the Lord. Because God’s timing is not our timing, and it often feels like we are being indecisive or doing nothing. However, in reality we are deciding to do the most important thing: trust in the Lord.
The world says, “Don’t just stand there; do something!” God says, “Don’t just do something; stand there, and wait for my word.” It is impossible for us to know the path God has in store for us – His thoughts and ways are infinitely removed from ours. And God seldom reveals where He is taking you when He says, “Go.” Also, God will usually tell you to go where you had never intended in order for you to do things that are impossible (of your own strength). Again, it takes great faith to wait and to walk only when and where God tells you to. However, to walk in our own understanding is to walk away from the blessings God intends for us.
But what does waiting on the Lord look like in practical, daily decision-making? After all, God will not likely to tell you what job to take, what car to buy, or whether or not to go on that trip through a vision. It starts with humbly turning to God for wisdom (knowledge rightly applied); then, remaining prayerfully immersed in God’s word, which will give you godly perspective on circumstances; remaining obedient to God’s word, regardless the apparent cost of fidelity – not cutting corners for expediency’s sake; seeking the counsel of mature Christians, always remembering to “test the spirits,” for consistency with God’s written word; and making the most faithful decisions you can while trusting God with what you didn’t understand. Faith is trusting God enough to obey Him in the present; and hope is trusting God with the future. Love, God’s love for you, ensures that even your failures cannot thwart God’s perfect will for you in your life. Who has the lead in your life?
Numbers 9:10, 11 – Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the LORD. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
God made special provision for those who could not worship on schedule.
Numbers 9:14 – And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.”
God is available to everyone.
Numbers 9:15-16 – On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night.
God intends to be in the midst of His people.
Numbers 9:20-23 – “Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out…. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.”
God determines the timing, and we are called to obey. We wait when God says wait, and we move when God says move, all according to His timing. It is impossible for us to understand God’s timing, and we should not get overly concerned about understanding His plan for us. We should focus on obedience today, trusting God with the future. We can plan for the future, and the Bible says we should, but our plan is only as good as its alignment with God’s plan. Delayed obedience is disobedience. When God calls you to obey His word, do not hesitate! Conversely, don’t get ahead of God, as discussed above.
Psalm 53:1 — “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
Foolish atheists are nothing new. Throughout history, there have been fools who said that there is no God.
Psalm 53:3 — “Ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves.”
Those who do not know God are capable of all sorts of evil.
Psalm 53:4 — “Have those who work evil no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God?”
Those who refuse to acknowledge God become a God unto themselves and thereby justify their selfishness. They cannot be trusted. Their motto is, “It’s you and me until it is you or me.”
God is your helper.
Proverbs 8:8 – “All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.”
Your Teacher, Counsellor, Coach, and Guide should be the Holy Spirit, not a person. Don’t let any person or philosophy be a substitute in your life for the Holy Spirit and God’s word, the only source of truth that is not partially crooked. Even your favorite pastor, priest, preacher, or Bible scholar sees the truth from a limited perspective — 1 Corinthians 13:12 – “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” It is amazingly tragic how many Christians turn to others to filter and interpret God’s word for them rather than getting it first hand from the Holy Spirit. Commentaries and commenters can be helpful, but always be like the Bereans – “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
Proverbs 8:13 – “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil.”
Do you hate your own pride like God does? Are you proud of your humility – think about it….
Proverbs 8:17 – “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.”
Knowing God more and more each day is your life purpose and goal. It is not what you do or where you end up, it is who you know and who you are with – Jesus.
Proverbs 8:34 – “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.”
Practically applying this proverb involves being immersed in God’s word, applying it, keeping your eyes open to see what the Holy Spirit is doing and obediently serving Him in the moment.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 8 May 22: Today, resolve to patiently wait on The Lord for resolutions or answers to the things that concern or trouble you. Don’t take matters into your own hands and disobey God’s commands. (1 Samuel 13:8-13) Meanwhile, make it your primary goal to praise and worship God today in thanksgiving and joy. Psalm 54:6 — “I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.”