Numbers 9 & Psalm 45

Numbers 9

    And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the LORD's offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”

    The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “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. They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the LORD's offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 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.”

    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. And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not set out. 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. And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted 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.

(Numbers 9 ESV)


Psalm 45

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song.

    My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
        I address my verses to the king;
        my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
    
    You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
        grace is poured upon your lips;
        therefore God has blessed you forever.
    Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
        in your splendor and majesty!
    
    In your majesty ride out victoriously
        for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
        let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
    Your arrows are sharp
        in the heart of the king's enemies;
        the peoples fall under you.
    
    Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
        The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
        you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
    Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
        with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
        your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
    From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
        daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
        at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
    
    Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
        forget your people and your father's house,
        and the king will desire your beauty.
    Since he is your lord, bow to him.
        The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
        the richest of the people.
    
    All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
        In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
        with her virgin companions following behind her.
    With joy and gladness they are led along
        as they enter the palace of the king.
    
    In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
        you will make them princes in all the earth.
    I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
        therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

(Psalm 45 ESV)


Something to Consider

Numbers 9: The reality of God's presence was clearly visible to all of Israel through the 'glory cloud' by day and the 'glory fire' by night. This was the same manifestation of His presence that led the people out of Egypt and into the area of Mount Sinai. At this particular point in history, this was the way in which God chose to lead His people. Therefore, in obedience to His guidance, the Israelites would go wherever the 'glory cloud' would go and stay wherever the 'glory cloud' would stay. Matthew Henry writes, "There is no time lost, while we are waiting God's time."

This was a specific way during a specific time in history that God chose to guide a specific group of people. Therefore, we ought to seek God's guidance in the way He most clearly makes Himself known today - through His Spirit and His Word. While God's presence once dwelt visibly in the midst of God's people, today God's presence dwells invisibly in the hearts of God's people. Where once God dwelt among His people, now God dwells within His people. 

We might consider who has been given the greater revelation?

Therefore, we need not rely on any visible manifestations that God may or may not grant today because now God's Word illuminated by the supernatural indwelling of the Holy Spirit serves as a lamp for our feet and the light for our path. May we seek God's guidance through meditating on His Word and praying in assurance of the Spirit's help. "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8)