Sunday, February 19, 2017

Staying At God's Side

February 19 (Numbers 9:22)

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.   (ESV)

Have you ever watched toddlers and little children when they are with their parents and away from home?  They may run around in the house and hang from the ceiling, but when they are in unfamiliar places, surrounded by really big people, they cling right to mommy or daddy.  If mommy turns down an aisle at the store, the child’s little legs are quick to follow, and daddy’s hand means safety and comfort when crossing a parking lot.

So it was with the Israelites as they left Egypt for the land that God had promised them.  He revealed His presence in a cloud, and this verse depicts the absolute trust these people had for Abba, their Father.  As long as the cloud stayed, they stayed.  Whether it was for a couple of days, or a month, or more, their agenda to get where they were going was not more important than being with and following God.  They moved only when He did.

As for me, I like speed.  I want to get where I want to go yesterday.  That’s why this is such an important verse.  Do I attempt to drive God with my agenda, or do I surrender to Him and let Him lead me?  Am I in search a hurry to achieve this or that or to alleviate some pain in my life that I rush out into the darkness in search of my own solutions?  I want to be like the Israelites.  I want to be like a toddler before my Abba.  I want to move when He moves, stay when He stays, and always be with Him.

Father, too often I act as if I am a rebellious teenager, certain that my way is best and hell-bent to follow after it.  That’s foolish, and I know it.  Lead me back to innocent trust in You.  May I never stray from Your side.  Amen.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins

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