The encampment

“The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.” Numbers 2:2

God loves leaving us clues for us to uncover, and as we do so, He takes those moments to reveal to us certain nuggets of truth. This is especially so with regards to the stories that we read about in the Old Testament.

The nation of Israel moved out of Egypt and had to thrive on its own in the wilderness for 40 years. Of course, we know about the problems that were present with them then as a nation – from administrative/operational issues that bogged down Moses to spiritual issues like idolatry and greed, amongst others.

Interestingly enough, in spite of all those issues, what is unique to them as a nation is that God showed up as the centre of their lives. He made it certain in the way He communicated the way the fledging nation would do worship, organise their lives, and even the way they would encamp in an area.

In fact, He communicated the picture of the cross during their time, a few thousand years before Christ was crucified! The tabernacle which carried the presence of God would be sent in the centre of the encampment of Israel whenever they settled. To its east, 3 tribes comprising about 186,000 men were encamped. To its south was 3 tribes of about 151,000 men. Westwards, another 3 tribes comprising another 108,000 men. Finally, northwards, the last 3 tribes with another 157,000 men.

What was more interesting about this setup was the manner which the congregation would meet with God. The sun would rise from the east and its light would shine on the foot of the encampment before setting in the west, or the head of the encampment. Put that together with the combination of 3 tribes per section, and powerful symbolisms comes into play for us:

From sunrise to sunset – every day of our lives, the triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is in the centre of it all.

As a soldier of Christ in the end-time, how are you arranging your life to fit into your role? Is the tabernacle in the centre? What is the order of arrangement like within the various segments of life? In which direction will the light be shining in from?