We are in the World Stream reading from the New International Readers Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord God, we are all on our journey. Thank you for reminding us along the way that this is a journey to meet YOU. Amen.
8 – We are midway in the preparation for the journey to The Promised Land that is found in Numbers 7,8,9. The lamps are set up in ch. 8. This is more than just the next detail. Lighting bodes large in the construction of anything. The structures and the layout of all that Moses is involved in here and the duties of the Priests, all this is done precisely as God intends. Then comes the lighting. Since the whole place is right it may as well look right too. Lighting provides that. My husband and I film in Hollywood and the detail that goes into lighting is crucial and more. Everything is ruined through wrong lighting. We’ve been in worship services in hundreds of venues where the lighting and those running it covers the entire spectrum: perfect and spiritually perfect -to- dismally unprepared with malfunctions gone amok. Through lighting we are able to interpret the entire world. God lit the sun. “Light” is the first noun that God uttered in our galaxy; Gen. 1:3. They were not to prepare, or enter, or worship in darkness. Pardon the belaboring this point, we just didn’t want to think, “oh, ok, lamps are in place, whatever, ‘next!’ “
-understanding the preparation of the Levites is a fascinating process. The rigors and matters involved, each step is a vital part. We look at that and may think, ‘what’s the big deal?’ IT IS a big deal. These are the agents that walk people into the Presence of God. They needed to have it right, and comprehensively so. No sloppy attitude about anything was allowed. Imagine running a tuxedo rental/clothing store with a sloppy attitude. It would be closed right after the first wedding! Prepping and dressing right matters. We recognize people and their roles by their uniform/outfit/appearance first. And as things pertain to God, it is all the more a pivotal matter. We will also be welcomed into heaven for having the right outfit and v.v. (clothed in Christ!!!)
9 – We have been reading from the World Stream [Gen. – Deutr.] weekly since Jan. 01. We read the Exodus nearly four months ago; April 30. Realize, as we read the Passover today, that it has been about a year since having crossed the Red Sea. And the Passover needed to be instituted for time immemorial. That was done so here. They needed to know Passover was not a ‘one-shot-feast’ to get them out of Egypt. Jesus Himself was sacrificed on Passover 13 centuries later to instill in us that God’s judgment would ‘pass over’ us because of God providing a sacrifice. This is intense stuff. Then the guidance factor of the cloud over the tabernacle is talked about. Do you read this like we do and think, “I wish God’s guidance were so clear for us today!” Well it is. It’s often subtle, but it’s clear. We may think that if God guided more clearly, we would obey more clearly. No we wouldn’t. If we do not listen to the subtle words and guidance from God, we will not obey the clouds and fire either. The Israelites received the clearest memos from God the world has ever seen and the disobedience through their centuries was stark. Obey the whispers and God will keep giving more clear and clear clouds and fires to follow.
10 – The trumpets are made and God tells them how to use them: to gather, to move, to defend via calling on God, when you’re joyful, to welcome new seasons, when making offerings. And catch that last sentence of God saying about trumpets, “they will remind me of you…” Good heavens, that line, which seems reversed, could be discussed for a year. ‘Ever attend a worship service where the call to worship is a brass choir? MAKES YOUR SKIN CRAWL!! It was now time to leave Sinai. They had been there for a year and they marched on with the Ark of the Covenant in front of them.
11 – Then the Lord hears the complaining of the people whose life was not cushy enough. The Lord is angry about complaining. Another memo about life is that we may complain about how life is going or not going right; right enough – and then the complaining commences. Well the best way to find a remedy is to stop complaining and move with God. How does any of us feel about the person on our team who always complains and whines? Is it any different at work? at family reunions? What do you want to do with/or/about the complainer at church who just won’t stop? … Don’t feel guilty about this feeling, btw, God wants what you want on this one! ha. So the complaining about hardship turned into complaining about food. They had fixed manna every which way fromSunday: manna-cotti, filet or manna, ba-Manna bread – [like Keith Green sung about in the 1970’s.] Moses’ is weary of the complaining and whining and his conversation with God and God’s reply to him is some sterling advice in leadership.
God addresses the complaining and wishing they were back in Egypt. How do you think that made God feel? How would you feel if your hub’/wife, during your second anniversary dinner, announced they wish they were someplace else with someone else?!
ugh! God says, “ok, here comes the meat and you’ll be eating it until you throw it up and it comes out your nose.” The prophesying and Moses’ wishing that all would prophesy is of note – it’s better than all the complaining! So finally God gives them their meat as quail. And everyone has a “pickup truck load heaped high” of quail. The got what they wanted but God had to strike a few of them to warn them to quit the complaining before they moved on. Be assured, complaining about what God has done for us is the most effective way to make sure that he becomes disgusted with us. Our assignment in life is to be grate-ful – not full of complaining.