“And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, "Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.”
A year had passed since the Israelites left Egypt. The drama of the ten plagues, ending with the death of the firstborn of every family in Egypt while the Israelites celebrated the Passover, had passed into memory. The frightening and awesome experience of crossing the Red Sea and then seeing the whole Egyptian army drown when they tried to follow them, was a full year behind them.
They made it to Mount Sinai in 47 days, then camped there at the foot of the mountain for eleven months before setting out again.
Much had happened in that year. Water from the rock, the beginning of daily provision of manna from Heaven, the giving of the Ten Commandments, the building of the Tabernacle, the consecration of Aaron the priest and the dedication of the Levites had all taken place.
But they were still only as far as the wilderness of Sinai.
In God’s wisdom, this great horde of people had needed this time get organized. They needed to learn the importance of trusting in God and obeying His Word. The Tabernacle and the worship centered there, the census and assigning the heads of the tribes were all a part of getting the people ready for what God had in mind for them.
They wouldn’t proceed from here as a horde of nomads; they would move as a nation.
Before they started out again, the Lord led Moses to have them stop and remember all that had happened by celebrating the Passover together.
God’s plan for our lives follows this same pattern. When we first begin to follow Jesus there is a time of preparation as we find our place in the local congregation. We learn the basic disciplines of discipleship, and our faith deepens and grows stronger. Then we can move forward, not as “lone wolf” adventurers but as members of the Body of Christ.
Like the Israelites, we have a long ways to go before we get to the Home to which God is leading us.
Take care to move together, as a part of the Body of Christ. Stay connected to your local church, in fellowship with the body of believers where the Holy Spirit has placed you. Move together with them, going forward together. This is God’s plan.
Lord Jesus, thank You for my church. Thank You for providing me with a body of believers who care about my soul and who minister to me, and among whom I can minister by Your Holy Spirit’s gifts. Thank You for each one You have gathered in this place to be a part of this body. Lead us, guide us by Your Spirit, together. Keep us on track, trusting in Your Word as we walk each other Home. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles