Numbers 10:1-21 (NIV)
13 When the people set out for the first time, following the instructions the Lord had given through Moses, 14 Judah’s troops led the way. They marched behind their banner, and their leader was Nahshon son of Amminadab. 15 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Issachar, led by Nethanel son of Zuar, 16 and the troops of the tribe of Zebulun, led by Eliab son of Helon. 17 Then the Tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonite and Merarite divisions of the Levites were next in the line of march, carrying the Tabernacle with them. 18 Reuben’s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elizur son of Shedeur. 19 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Simeon, led by Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, 20 and the troops of the tribe of Gad, led by Eliasaph son of Deuel. 21 Next came the Kohathite division of the Levites, carrying the sacred objects from the Tabernacle. Before they arrived at the next camp, the Tabernacle would already be set up at its new location. 22 Ephraim’s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elishama son of Ammihud. 23 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Manasseh, led by Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, 24 and the troops of the tribe of Benjamin, led by Abidan son of Gideoni. 25 Dan’s troops went last, marching behind their banner and serving as the rear guard for all the tribal camps. Their leader was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Asher, led by Pagiel son of Ocran, 27 and the troops of the tribe of Naphtali, led by Ahira son of Enan.
Numbers chapter 10 lays out the process by which the Israelites moved whenever the Lord’s presence led them out of their current position. As I read this chapter this morning, I was struck… why did it matter to God that the children of Israel went out in this way and manner?
Why did it matter that the tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun had to lead the camp with the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali making up the rear end of protection for the nation? Why did it matter to God that there was some sort of order to this?
But that was the point – in as much as God cares about the vision, and gives the vision; He also cares about how the vision is carried and the processes by which it’s accomplished. There were over 600,000 people in the camp of Israel. God could have just asked them to move all at once but God understood the importance of order and strategy. He is a God of strategy.
Verse 21 of Numbers 10 gives us a benefit of this strategy, that by the time the Kohathite division of the tribe of Levi arrived at the location the Lord led Israel to, the Tabernacle would have been set up at its new location because the Gershonite and Merarite divisions of Levi (who were in charge of carrying the Tabernacle) would have set it up!
Earlier on in the book of Numbers (chapter 4) we see that the Kohathite tribe had to physically carry the Tabernacle objects on their shoulders – all the pans, lamps, lamp snuffers, altar utensils etc. (Numbers 4: 4-15) – they were not assigned the same shares of oxen and wagons that the other Levite divisions had to help them transport the Tabernacle (Numbers 7: 4-9). How careful and loving was God to consider that these people would have been travelling for miles with heavy objects on their shoulders, and that it would be great for them to be able to be immediately relieved from the weight pressure of these items at their new camp; rather than to keep bearing the weight whilst the Aaron and his sons, with the Gershonite and Merarite clans, built up the Tabernacle.
Can you imagine this for yourself, I mean there have been times when I have gotten angry just at the fact that one of my family members had been too slow in getting the door when I was carrying heavy objects. Can you imagine how much of a relieve this would have been for the Kohathites?!
I write all these to say that, it’s important for us to run after the visions God has given us, but in doing so, we must first enquire and give thought to how the process would work, and to how we can make the journey as smooth as possible. Even in the New Testament, the Apostles, although given the mission to spread the Gospel, always made time to strategise and enquire of the Holy Spirit about how they should go about their mission; and thus were led by the Holy Spirit in this many-a-times (Acts 1:23-26 and Acts 16:6-7).
Let’s take time to meet with God and ask Him to lead us in His strategy for destiny fulfilment. It may seem slow but always remember that like the Kohathites, He’s arranging things so that when we reach our destination we can get there more refreshed and with less hassle; with everything working out as it should.
So, be encouraged! Slow speed is not a sign of being ineffective with God. It’s a symbol of His grace in arranging things for us, so we can reach our destination as we should.
Peace and love guys!
Ope O 🙂
P.S: Let me know your thoughts below…