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the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 10

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-36

Chapter 10

Then in chapter ten, he was ordered to make two silver trumpets. And these silver trumpets were to be used for calling an assembly of the people together, or they were to be used at the time of battle in sounding the alarm. And if they had sounded one alarm then the camps that were on the east part were to go forward into battle. If they sounded two alarms, then also the camp on the south side was to go into battle. And so these trumpets were to be used to help direct the people.

Naturally, when you got what, over half a million adult males out there plus all the women and children, and you don't have any real communication system; you don't have radios, a transistor or whatever, you've got to keep the camp in order. And if you're attacked you could be attacked over here on the eastside and the people on the west side wouldn't even know what's going on. So, even as in the years of warfare up until modern communication, the bugle was blown to instruct the troops for various things and is even still practiced today in many of our army camps.

When we were over in Hawaii we were on some of the military bases there and we'd here the bugle blowing to call the guys to the mess at lunchtime and we would here the various bugles and the fellows responding to the sound of the bugles. And that was basically what it was all about. They would sound assembly or they would sound the alarm for an attack or the various things, and thus, they had the various signals that would be blown by the trumpet.

Then, of course, that is why we read in the return of Jesus Christ the trump of God. It's the trump of God is going to sound an assembly for all of the children of God. And what a glorious-I can hardly wait to hear that trumpet blow. And I don't know what the melody will be but I'll tell ya, I'll recognize it the minute I hear it. And I'll know that it's, you know, the Lord is calling an assembly of his children; calling us home to be with Him. And thus, we are awaiting really God's call of assembly for the church.

Now the trumpets were also to sound at the beginning of their Sabbath days and the holy days, the solemn days, the beginning of their month, and the blowing of the trumpets over the burnt offerings, and the peace offerings; and so forth: a memorial unto your God: for I am Jehovah your God. Now it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle. And the children of Israel took their journey in the wilderness of Sinai: and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran ( Numbers 10:10-12 ).

So now God is beginning now the tabernacle is set up, the whole thing is working. So now God is beginning to move them towards the land that he has promised. So the cloud was lifted up and it moved now from the wilderness area of Mount Sinai and it is now moving to the Promise Land or towards the Promise Land and leading them into this area of Paran.

And so the Levites all went in, they dismantled of course, the tabernacle and Aaron's sons covering; now it's sort of a dress rehearsal. They've been taught what to do and now they're doing it as the cloud begins to move and the Kohathites move in and they take their load, the Gershonites come in, the Mararites and we're moving. We're on the way, excitement; God is now moving us.

Now, Moses said to his father in law Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We're journeying to the place which the LORD said, he was gonna give to us: come with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD has spoken concerning Israel. But he said unto Moses, I'll not go; but I will depart back to my own land, and to my own family ( Numbers 10:29-30 ).

Now, his area was there near Mount Sinai and rather than journeying towards the Promise Land he just wanted to go back to his own home and family.

And Moses said, Leave us not, I pray thee: forasmuch as you have knowledge how we are to encamp in the wilderness, that you may be to us instead of eyes ( Numbers 10:31 ).

In other words, this fella was really a man of the desert. He was able to track in the desert; he was able to tell them where the water was and he had that desert savvy, that desert knowledge. And so Moses was really desiring that guy to stick with them because he really had all that desert savvy. And you can be as eyes for us, and all. And Moses was asking the fella to remain with him.

And it shall be, that if you go with us, that whatever goodness the LORD gives to us, we're gonna share with you. And they departed from the mount of the LORD for three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for three days journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, and when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel ( Numbers 10:32-36 ).

So that's beautiful. Whenever the cloud would rise up he'd say, "Rise up O LORD, move on and let your enemies flee before you" and when the cloud would settle he'd say, "All right, LORD, rest among your people" you know "among the thousands of Israel".

And so now God is beginning to move them toward the land of promise. And we've got some many exciting adventures in the book of Numbers as we move ahead. I really like the book of Numbers. The first part is a little redundant in some of the numberings and all but now we're starting to get into some pretty exciting experiences as God begins to lead them toward the land that he had promised unto their fathers.

Shall we stand?

May the Lord be with you and guide you through the week. Even as he led the children of Israel and they were obedient to the charge of the Lord and moved when he said to move and rested when he said to rest, so may God make us sensitive to the leading of his Holy Spirit when we may know when to move and when to rest at the commandment of the Lord. And thus may we walk in fellowship with him and may the Lord bless thee and keep thee. May the Lord cause his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace, in Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Numbers 10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/numbers-10.html. 2014.
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