Numbers 9 Commentary

Numbers 9 Commentary.

The chapter focuses on the first ever Passover event to be observed outside Egypt. It was a symbol reminding Israel of the LORD’S outstretched arm against Egypt. At the same time it remained a symbol of the LORD’S generosity in saving Israel. The importance of the Passover is seen in the Lord’s Supper. We are to ‘do this in memory of’ the LORD. Of the many religious assemblies and festivals that Israel was required to observe, only the Passover seem to have survived beyond the cross in the form of the Lord’s Supper. The key line is in the memory of what it stands for and not in the actual rituals.

Some among the people couldn’t observe the Passover on account of uncleanliness. Moses seeks guidance from the LORD. It’s a beautiful thing that we need to learn. Waiting upon the LORD isn’t just prayer but the actual waiting. A solution is given. The LORD was intent on ensuring that all observed the Passover regardless. As a mother with her children over routine tasks such as eating and bathing, so is the LORD here with His children over matters which are important for us. No skipping.

The second section of chapter 9 settles on the very presence of God amongst the people. They broke camp or camped at the LORD’S command. It didn’t matter how long they stayed at one point. There are instructions for the saint in these lines. The theme of waiting upon the LORD appears again in this section but it’s in the form of obedience regardless of inconveniences. As Moses waited upon the LORD for instructions over the ‘missed Passover’ in section 1, so the people here must wait for the cloud to lift or settle as they traveled.

The saint must learn to move or stay…not as dictated by weather or economic conditions but as guided by the LORD. A world that has conditioned us to be our own gods is a constant threat to an ‘obedient walk’ with the LORD. We often plan before we pray for guidance. It feels quite natural. Wouldn’t it rather be sensible to pray before we sit down to plan?

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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