At a dog show near my home, I watched a Cardigan Welsh corgi named Trevor perform. At his master’s command, he ran several yards away and immediately returned, he jumped fences, and he identified objects using his sense of smell. After finishing each exercise, he sat down at his master’s feet and waited for more instructions.
Trevor’s careful attention to his master’s instruction reminded me of the devotion God desired from His people as they followed Him through the wilderness. God led in a unique way. His presence appeared as a cloud. If the cloud ascended, He wanted His people to move to another area. If the cloud descended, they were to stay put. “At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed” (Num. 9:23). The Israelites followed this practice day or night, regardless of how long they had to remain in one place.
God wasn’t simply testing the Israelites; He was leading them to the Promised Land (10:29). He wanted to take them to a better place. So it is with us when God asks us to follow Him. He wants to lead us to a place of closer fellowship with Himself. His Word assures us that He is loving and faithful in leading those who humbly follow Him.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey. —Sammis
The tabernacle (Num. 9:15) was not only a place of worship, it was intended to be the center of Israel’s national life. This “tent of meeting” also foreshadowed the incarnation of Christ, the living Word who “dwelled” (that is, “tabernacled”) among us in a tent of human flesh (John 1:14).