The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side . . . Then the tent of meeting shall set out, with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camps; as they camp, so shall they set out, each in position, standard by standard. Numbers 2:1-2; 17, ESV.
As God gives His people travel instructions, He organizes them by tribe and tells them how to set up camp, break down camp, and travel. There are so many instructions in these first two chapters of Numbers that you might read them and come away thinking that God is a little uptight. However, that would miss the point. What God does is ensure sure that every facet of the life of His people reflects their status as His people.
Pay special attention to the second verse, “They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side.” Some will face east, some west, some north, and some south. But they will all face the tent where they go to meet with God. Even as they journey to the Promised Land, they will maintain this relationship. The Levites will pack up the tent and the people will travel in their tribes with the tent in the middle. In motion or at rest, everything about their lives reminds them that they are God’s people.
We need this center. As we run the race of life, we need to direct our eyes to that center. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). As we journey toward our Promised Land, we must set and keep our eyes on Jesus!
I pray that Jesus will fill your vision every moment of this day!