What Does the Lord Command?

priest at altar of incense

It was bedtime.

It was reading from my One Year Bible and highlighting excerpts which caught my attention.

The daily reading had already been pre-chosen, and I simply had to turn to the appropriate date and study the assigned chapters.

This evening’s particular selection came from Numbers 8:1-9:23.

It addressed the arrangement and lighting of lamps in the Tabernacle (vv. 1-4), the installation of Levites (vv. 5-22) and their length of service (vv. 23-26), instructions pertaining to delayed observance of the Passover feast (9:6-14), and certain divine provisions for the nation’s guidance by the cloud (15-23).

As I worked my way through the inspired text, I couldn’t help but be struck by a certain profound repetition.

Over and over again I found phraseology to this effect:

  • “As the LORD commanded…” 8:3
  • “According to the pattern which the LORD had shown Moses…” 8:4
  • “According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses…” 8:20
  • “According to all that the LORD commanded Moses…” 9:5
  • “According to all the ordinances…” 9:12
  • “At the command of the LORD…” 9:18a
  • “At the command of the LORD…” 9:18b
  • “Kept the charge of the LORD…” 9:19
  • “According to the command of the LORD…” 9:20a
  • “According to the command of the LORD…” 9:20b
  • “At the command of the LORD…” 9:23a
  • “At the command of the LORD…” 9:23b
  • “The charge of the LORD…” 9:23c
  • “At the command of the LORD…” 9:23d

If my count was correct, I noticed that at least 13 times the Lord through Moses told Israel WHAT to do, as well as HOW to perform these aforementioned tasks.

The nation was obliged to discharge certain specific religious duties–“at the command of the LORD”–and it was evident that could be no deviation or amendment, neither could Israel resign herself from Jehovah’s instructions.

His will was clear, explicit and unalterable.

It was not by accident that Moses laid this recurrent stress.

“The things that were written previously (i.e., in the Old Testament) were for our instruction…” (Rom. 15:4 McCord).

God through Moses wanted not only to impress obedience upon fleshly Israel, but also upon spiritual Israel–the church (Gal. 6:16).

While we live under a different covenant from our ancestors (Heb. 8:7-13), it is clear from Scripture that we too must execute the Lord’s wishes (John 14:15).

Whether it pertains to how to worship, when to worship, the role of women, how to enact forgiveness, church discipline, rebuking error, standing for the truth, our attitude in giving, the role and function of shepherds, repenting of sin, etc., the Lord wants us to do His will and to do it in the prescribed way (Col. 3:17).

He has revealed it to us in His Word.

Beloved, let’s avail ourselves individually and collectively to the guidance He has not only provided but commanded.

“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!” – Mike

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