Numbers 9 clearly depicts the LORD’s sovereignty as He appoints the times of the worship feasts and the travel. The LORD alone determines the times; and His people are called to respond in obedience to His Appointed Time.
Consider His Appointed Time
There is no explanation offered for His schedule; He appoints and His people are to comply. His Appointed Times would instruct His people when to observe the Passover and how long they would remain camped. In His Appointed Time the LORD would lead His people to grow in their dependence on Him.
- His Appointed Time would lead His people to Remember His Gift
- How easy it can be to forget His miraculous deeds. His Appointed Time of the Passover celebration would bring their remembrance back to His marvelous Gift of redemption and deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.
- Thus the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Now, let the sons of Israel observe the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall observe it at its appointed time; you shall observe it according to all its statutes and according to all its ordinances,” (9:1-3).
- His Appointed Time would lead His people to Rely on His Grace
- Unfit to participate and present an offering to the LORD unless the LORD intervene, those unclean by contact with death approached the mediators, desperate for His Grace to make a way that they too might partake in His Appointed Time.
- But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 Those men said to him, “Though we are unclean because of the dead person, why are we restrained from presenting the offering of the Lord at its appointed time among the sons of Israel?” 8 Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.” 9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; (9:7-11).
- His Appointed Time would lead His people to Realize His Glory.
- His Appointed Time of the cloud by day and the fire by night was an unceasing and unbroken demonstration of His Glory, unveiled to all.
- Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning. 16 So it was continuously; the cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night, (9:15-16].
- Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle… 38 For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, (Exodus 40:34,38).
- His Appointed Time would lead His people to Receive His Guidance
- No matter the duration, the people stayed put until His Appointed Time determined they were to break camp and set out.
- Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp. 18 At the command of the Lord the sons of Israel would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained camped… 22 Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out, (9:17-18,22).
How do we respond to His Appointed Time?
The New Testament also speaks of an Appointed Time each and every one of us must face.
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him, (Hebrews 9:27-28).
The LORD alone determines His Appointed Time, but death is not something to fear when our faith is in His death for our sins and we are eagerly awaiting His return.
At His Appointed Time, Christ will come again, not to save us from sin but to save us to Himself. Until that time, He has provided His Gift, His Grace, His Glory and His Guidance that we would be ready for His return.
- His Gift of eternal life is free to us, but cost our LORD so much. Remembering His Gift will cultivate an attitude of growing gratitude and ceaseless praise.
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23)
- Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).
- When we Rely on His Grace for salvation, we are born to new life and set free from the spiritual death that once prevented fellowship with Holy God. Continuing to Rely on His Grace for our spiritual growth fosters a lifestyle of humility, dependence and worship.
- For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18).
- As we look to Jesus we are privileged to see the Father, in all His nature and power. Realizing His Glory will cause us to stand in awe and bow in worship.
- …He who has seen Me has seen the Father; (John 14:9).
- God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power, (Hebrews 1:1-3).
- so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:10-11).
- …He who has seen Me has seen the Father; (John 14:9).
- In response to the Goodness of His Gift, His Grace and His Glory, how can we not offer Him our entire lives, everything we are? As we offer Him our bodies and our minds through the transforming power of His Word and His Holy Spirit, we will Receive His Guidance.
- Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:1-2).