Old Testament – From Genesis to the Prophet Jonah
God’s daily travel instructions to the Israel people were simple and direct. His presence was marked during the day by a cloud covering the Tabernacle in the centre of their camp and during the night, a fiery appearance over the Tabernacle. In the morning when the cloud lifted, if it lifted, the Israelite’s moved on and followed the cloud. When the cloud settled, they stopped and set up camp. (Numbers 9:15-23)
Communication across the vast camp of an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people was controlled using two specially made silver trumpets. A variety of notes were used to sound the alarm, call the elders, assemble the people, pitch camp and multiple other general management calls. (Numbers 10:1-10)
However, despite God’s visible daily guidance, the people didn’t always listen to Him and often “grumbled”. Indeed, God punished Moses for his frustration and acceptance of the credit from his people for getting water from a rock in the wilderness of Zin. In his fury, Moses had hit the rock twice with his staff saying, “Listen, you [Israelites], must we bring water out of this rock for you?” (Numbers 20:10) His punishment, he would not travel the final stages of the journey to the promised land.
After forty years of travelling towards the promised land, Moses and the Israelite’s advanced towards Canaan. There God told Moses to climb Mount Nebo, opposite Jericho, and he showed him the whole land, north to south and as far as the Mediterranean Sea, the land designated for the Israelites but that he would not set foot on.
During his last days, Moses blessed his tribes and Joshua was appointed by God to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River.
Joshua started preparing the Israelites for the crossing three days prior, telling them to make-ready their supplies. They camped close to the river the night before and early in the morning, those carrying the Ark of the Covenant led the way. As soon as their feet touched the waters of the River Jordan, the waters upstream stopped flowing and the river bed dried up allowing them to cross-over. The priests carrying the Ark then moved to the centre of the dry riverbed and stood there until the entire Israel nation had crossed.
Thereafter, the Israelites conquered Jericho and beyond, God was with Joshua. However, it took many more years and leaders, to rid the land of paganism.
Joshua died at 110yrs and was buried in the mountains near Ephraim.
When I say, “I will do that for you,” what I really mean to say is, “God will do that through me for you!”
Lord Jesus, teach me to be patient and kind. Let me not forget to share my happiness with others and enjoy others happiness. Remind me, when I need it most, that my crosses are but your love for me. Amen.
Prayer: Daily Prayer (St Francis)
Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily;
to lean on your great strength, trustfully, respectfully;
to wait for the unfolding of your will, patiently, serenely;
to meet others, peacefully, joyfully;
to face tomorrow, confidently, courageously.