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Daily Reading: Numbers 2

Scripture Focus: 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. (Numbers 2.2)

Devotional Thought: At the dawn of creation, the Spirit of God hovered over the chaos and brought forth order. The Apostle Paul urged the church to do everything in order "for God is not a God of confusion but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14.33). And, in the book of Numbers, God instructs the people of Israel to camp and move in order.

What a great picture of the church! The people shall...

  • Camp by their own standard. We are not all the same. God does not call us to uniformity, but to unity. Order in God's household means that all the rich variety of people will maintain their own distinctiveness while joining together in a beautiful mosaic.

  • Raise the banners of their fathers' houses. Within the unity of the camp, God expected that people would identify more readily with those of their own family. It has to be so. In order to care for all, there must be a sense of loyalty and duty on the part of each. Human nature being what it is, God instructs us to recognize and function within the natural loyalties of family and friends.

  • Face the tent of meeting. In order to avoid elitism of family loyalty, God instructs us that everyone should be focused on him. When he is at the center, we will not lift ourselves and our clans above the rest. While we organize around groups and families, nothing destroys order quicker than having cliques and snobbery.

  • Surround the house of God. In all things, the people of Israel were to defend the faith. Centuries later Jude wrote that we are to "earnestly contend for the faith." We must support and attend church faithfully!

That's the kind of order even the freest spirit can live with!

Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you have brought order to chaos - to my chaos! Help me to live in a God-ordered way so that I can do my part in the work of the kingdom. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 10 I believed, even when I spoke, "I am greatly afflicted"; 11 I said in my alarm, "All mankind are liars." 12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, 14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. (Psalms 116:10-14)

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