Nu 1:1 — The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying The phrase “spoke to Moses” jumped off the page at me. The Lord spoke to Moses. The Lord spoke to a barbarian. And the Lord spoke to me.
Did you know the Lord spoke to Moses? Did you know the Lord didn’t just stir him with some vague sense of what to do, but with clarity and specificity as if it were his brother Aaron standing next to him? Have you ever heard “the voice” speak to you? Was it still and small, or loud and rumbly? Was it direct, or did a donkey have to translate?
Gen 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. This from the first chapter of the first book of the bible. God spoke and created everything. That includes humanity, and you and me. He created us. God doesn’t create junk and He doesn’t do things without a reason. Deny it if you dare, but beware, you are His child and He will correct you if you don’t get in line. Not for spite, but because He loves His creation, even when it makes him mourn and shed blood.
Jn 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. God spoke from the very beginning. He created life and everything needed for life. More than just the creator of life, His Word was the light of men. While God created light so eyes could see, He also created spiritual light so that man doesn’t have to live in a condition of doom and gloom. We have hope. God is our salvation (Ps 53:6).
Jn 1:12-14 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. This very Word of God who created us, who enlightens us, became flesh and lived among us. This was, of course, Jesus Christ. This passage right here in John 1 says that those who believe in him (Jesus) will become children of God. It isn’t a thing we can do, it is a God thing.
I tell you, I am a deeply flawed man. I cry from my knees for forgiveness for all I do wrong, for faith when I have none, for willing hands when I cringe. The Lord never changes. He is always faithful. He has the same message for us that he gave before, even to Moses. Salvation. Salvation from death.
About Numbers 1
Let me tell you what else happens in Nu 1. God gives Moses very specific instructions to conduct a census. He then is instructed to divide the people up by tribe creating army divisions. This was to maintain order and stability, among other things. The tribe of Levi got a special assignment. Since they were priests, they were set aside for special duty. You might think as priests their job was to be pious. Think again. They were God’s commandos. If anybody else got too close to the tabernacle, the Levites were to execute them. They priests had the job of security as well as setting up, moving and tearing down the tabernacle every time God decided to move them. All of this was as directed by God via Moses. God spoke to Moses, and Moses passed along the instructions to the rest of Israel.
Nu 1:52-54 When the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death. The people of Israel shall pitch their tents by their companies, each man in his own camp and each man by his own standard. But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the people of Israel. And the Levites shall keep guard over the tabernacle of the testimony.” Thus did the people of Israel; they did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses. I want you to notice the warnings. There’s also a force there to protect the people from wrath. I want you to look at that twice! God put the Levites there for the sake of the people. God didn’t need protection, the people did. God didn’t want to inflict wrath. His guards (the Levites) were given as an act of love. Then notice, the people did what God commanded. The people had faith.
Suppose people today demonstrated faith. Suppose that a whole society listened to what God had to say and actually did it. God loves. His love protects, provides, and prevails, even over death itself. Suppose we learned this kind of love. Can you see it? Can your dimmist foggy vision cast a glance of it? Suppose…
Ex 15:17-18 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever. I glossed over Moses’ song several times without understanding these two verses. Moses understood God is God of Salvation. God will bring His people home, gathering them to Himself, in His own home, forever and ever. You don’t need John’s revelation to know about the hope for eternal life. God spoke it from the very first. He created it all. He created it on purpose. He spoke it, and it was good. He had a plan then and He has a plan now. He spoke to Adam, He spoke to Noah, He spoke to Moses, He spoke to David, He spoke to Paul, and He spoke to me.
I don’t say that to elevate myself, I say that to confirm as a witness of His glory, that he would humble Himself. He loves me. He loves you, too. If you don’t know about the love our Lord has for us, then I would be humbled to have a chance to tell you more. If you already know about God’s love for you, then go tell someone else. Listen and He will speak to you. It might not involve a fire or a cloud. It could be a letter. It could be a song. And yes, often it is a still small voice.
God doesn’t necessarily say things that are easy to hear. Jesus prayed until blood came out his pores and what his Father had to say wasn’t easy to hear. Jesus overcame death, though. He proved it can be done and will be done. This is why we believe, and its why we need to help tell others, to help them find the gift God yearns to give them.