Daily D – Numbers 10:35-36
Numbers 10:35, 36
Whenever the ark set out, Moses said,
“Rise up, LORD!
May your enemies be scattered;
may your foes flee before you.”
Whenever it came to rest, he said,
“Return, LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel.”
(New International Version)
Get up, GOD!
Put down your enemies!
Chase those who hate you to the hills!
And when the Chest was set down, he would say,
Rest with us, GOD,
Stay with the many,
Many thousands of Israel.
Here we have invocation and benediction. Step back a chapter to see the setting. Numbers 9 tells how the decisions were made regarding when to move out and when to stop. Verses 17 and 18 give us the relevant details:
whenever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.
At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped.
As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.
They obeyed the LORD’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
Many cultures give significant attention to leaving and arriving. Consider the terms Vaya con Dios (which this app keeps changing to Jaya) and Beinvenidos. Vaya con Dios means Go with God. Bienvenidos means Welcome. Go to the roots of these expressions and see them for the invocation and benediction they are.
Like Moses and Israel in the wilderness, we do not want to go anywhere without God. We want his provision, his guidance, and his protection.
When we bless friends with Welcome, we are declaring how we hope their trip was a good and God-blessed journey.
Years ago, I read about a woman who was highly regarded for the parties she hosted. She made everyone feel special with two simple phrases. When someone arrived she said, “At last! You’re here!” And when someone left she said, “You’re leaving so soon?”
Journeys are often more interesting than destinations. There was a day some years ago when my trip to Vancouver took me first to Seattle. From there, a tiny airplane took me the rest of the way. We took off in a dense fog. It took a while to rise above it. Looking down upon it, it looked like giant cotton balls stuck to a map.
This fog was dense and unmoving. We entered it again as we went in to land. We descended for a long time. We were completely blind as to how close we were to the ground right up until that moment when we hit it.
Our long-delayed thirty-fifth anniversary trip to Italy included a return flight over the Swiss Alps early in the morning. All we could see in any direction were mountain peaks covered in snow.
I could go on. So could you.
Where are you bound today? Who will you see? Life may well grow richer and fuller if we learn to seek God’s direction before we set out and seek his presence when we arrive. May we bless our friends and family when we leave and when we arrive. May we take time to experience God in all of our departures and arrivals.
I will live with ever-greater intention regarding departures, arrivals, and the joy of the journey.
Our Father, I want to go with you. Lead the way. Direct my steps all along the way. Bless me and make me a blessing in all of my departures and arrivals. Amen.
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Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“
Numbers 27:22, 23 Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua, had him stand before the priest Eleazar and the entire community, laid his hands on him, and commissioned him, as the Lord had spoken through Moses.