The suitcases are all loaded, and it’s time to turn the thermostat back, shut off the lights, pack the snacks and start the car. Just a few more details, and Israel is ready to pull up stakes and leave the Wilderness of Sinai.
It might be helpful to go over the timeline since their journey began.
Remember in Exodus 12, when the LORD told Moses, “This Month, for you, shall be the beginning of months.” By their counting, the Passover occurs on Year 1, Month 1, Day 14.
By Exodus 16, it’s Month 2, Day 15, when they head for the Wilderness of Sinai. They are there for at least nine months, while Moses receives the law on Mount Horeb. On the first day of Year 2, in Exodus 40, they dedicate the Tabernacle.
One month passes as Leviticus unfolds, and Numbers opens on Year 2, Month 2, Day 1. Twenty days later, in chapter 10, they set out for Canaan.
During these three weeks, there are just a few more chores to attend to. At the beginning of chapter 8, listen to how the lampstand is made by “hammered work of gold.” A product, surely, of Bezalel, Oholiab, or an apprentice, this finely personal work mirrors the directions of Exodus, and boldly contrasts the production of the golden calf.
After this, the Levites are cleansed and consecrated for the LORD’s service, and chapter 9 looks back one month to the first anniversary of the Passover. We’re then reminded in detail of the cloud and fire that would lead Israel forward. Silver trumpets “of hammered work” are procured, and the nation of Israel, finally, pulls up stakes.
Our verse for this week is Ephesians 5:2: “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Numbers chapters 8 through 10. Now let’s read it!
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.