Numbers 2:1-3:51; Mark 11:27-12:17;
Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 10:24-25
Marching orders in the military are instructions from a superior officer for troops to depart. Today we see Israel's superior military officer (God) giving instructions for how the tribes of Israel were to position themselves around the Tabernacle to move the camp and march towards the Promised Land.
The camp was set up in the following order:
- East of the Tabernacle: Tribes of Judah (Lion), Issachar, and Zebulun
- South of the Tabernacle: Tribes of Reuben (Man), Simeon, and Gad
- West of the Tabernacle: Tribes of Ephraim (Ox), Manasseh, Benjamin
- North of the Tabernacle: Tribes of Dan (Eagle), Ashur, Naphtali and Levi
The census established the Israelites' pedigree. They knew their genealogical position, which told them who they were. These marching orders tell them their place within the community. Do you know your spiritual pedigree? Are you part of God's family? Also, do you know your place within that community? What are your gifts? How do you fit within the body?
It is important to know who you are in Christ and what your marching orders are as you march towards the blessed Christian life on this earth and eventually into the new heaven and the new earth for eternity.
We were just talking about pedigree and position. Jesus has both pedigree and position, but today in the New Testament reading the Pharisees are questioning both of these in Jesus. They ask who has given him the authority to drive out the merchants in the Temple. I'm sure they were upset that the money they were going to glean as a percentage of the take from those merchants is now in jeopardy. Anyway, Jesus tests their faith and courage by asking by what authority did John the Baptist baptize people. The Pharisees are afraid to answer because John was a popular person among the Israelites. By the time Jesus is asking this, John had become a martyr. Jesus is showing that he is as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove.
Needless to say, the Pharisees now want to kill Jesus. Ha! The story is prophetic.
What character are you in God's story? Are you a good guy or an evil guy?
Vs. 4 He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance... Vs. 8 God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. These are prophetic words for Israel and for all people on earth.
"The fears of the wicked will all come true; so will the hopes of the godly." If you have the proper hope, which is hope in God, this statement is true.
What did you notice today?