Reading through the Bible together

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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In Numbers 10 the much-anticipated event begins—the journey of more than a million people to the Promised Land. One of God’s last commands before this event concerns the fashioning of two silver trumpets. Our communication technology today makes us a bit blind to the effect of hearing trumpet blasts. Trumpets provide a tremendous emotional boost closely connected to warfare.  A little more than one hundred years ago, armies maneuvered to the sound of the trumpet. And today military bands still play a critical role in maintaining a fighting spirit.


With all plans in place and every heart eager, the cloud moves forward and the children of Israel follow. This must have been one of the grandest sights in all history. Few people have ever seen this many people in motion. The ark of God and his real Presence leads the way. How could Israel be defeated? Moses’ words, as he watches the ark, betray his confidence, not in men and material, but in the LORD. He would fight their battles.


From our perspective, so many centuries later, the thought of failure seems impossible. But unfortunately, the longed-for success is not to be. That terrible story is next.


Mark Sheffield

Southern Adventist University