“Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.” – Numbers 9: 22-23
I love reading the story of the Israelites and their journey through the wilderness with Moses. The thought of belonging to a nation set apart and sanctified by God, living together as one big family, working together to serve the Lord – it’s thrilling to me. Imagine living in the shadow of a pillar of fire hovering over your camp. Witnessing God Himself taking care of your basic needs by showering you with manna from above. How beautiful to imagine the songs of the women as they taught their children to praise the God who carried them through terrible hardships.
As I was reading this passage, these two verses caught my attention. Perhaps it’s because we’ve recently been redecorating our home, settling in – so to speak. How would I feel if I was in God’s camp? Would I get bogged down in building up my home, tearing it down, traveling, building it up, tearing it down, traveling again?
It’s so hard to imagine fitting into that lifestyle. Not getting wrapped up in silly things like “but Lord I just painted the living room! Surely we should stay another year!”
I think of all the Israelite women, some must have been expecting babies, and they never knew if they would be in one place long enough to deliver their little ones in homes comfortably set up for life with newborns. Their lifestyle must have been simplistic, not hung up on possessions at all. They followed The Lord. Nothing else mattered as much as He did.
Our possessions tend to possess us, keep us chained to a location or a way of thinking. Maybe God has moved on, but we’re stuck with our arms full of junk, unable to follow Him. I don’t want to be that way.
It’s just stuff.
Are we ready to lay that down?