Lessons on Leadership from Nehemiah
“Day 10 (Numbers 10)”Categories: 40 Days in the Wilderness
In Numbers 10 the people of Israel camped at Mt. Sinai for eleven months. During that time, God’s law had been announced and the tabernacle had been constructed and dedicated. Moses had consecrated the priests and Levites, counted the soldiers and organized the tribes. Israel is now ready for action.
However, for the next thirty-eight years because of their rebellion, they would wander in the wilderness leaving behind a trail of graves. In contrast, the first ten chapters of numbers record how the nation obeyed the Lord. In obeying the Lord Israel had everything to gain and nothing to lose, yet, they refused to trust Him and follow him.
The children of Israel have been comfortable for nearly a year, but now with the cloud over the tabernacle moving, the priests blew their trumpets and the Levites dismantled the tabernacle. And the people were ready to march. It was time for them to move.
The more comfortable we become the less we welcome change; and yet there is no growth without change. Comfort leads to complacency and complacency is the enemy of character and spiritual growth.
Further, the tribes had their leaders so all the priests had to do was sound the trumpet and signal when each tribe would move out. The Ark of the Covenant led the way. It was carried by the Levites following the cloud. Where each tribe marched in procession was not an option; it was an obligation from God.
The sound of the trumpet was a call to assemble. It was a call to action. It was also to warn and to be a reminder. Paul describes the coming of the Lord with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the sound of the trumpet. When the trumpet sounds it will be a call for all of God’s people to assemble in that general assembly (Heb. 12:23). It will serve as a reminder of how God has saved all His people. The trumpet will call for us to offer sacrifice to the Lord and remember “I am the Lord your God. It will be a warning, as when the sound of the trumpet at Sinai and the voice of words terrified the people (Heb. 12:18-21). It will be a reminder of how fearful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Finally, it will be a call to action. When the trumpet sounds there will be none that are idle. All those who are His will be called to meet Him in the air. The trumpet sound will be clear. There will be no mistaking the sound.
Finally, Moses prayed to God for guidance and victory. When the nation stopped to camp, he prayed that God’s presence would again rest with His people at the tabernacle. No matter how many times the Israelites started and stopped Moses repeated these prayers. He wanted the people to know that God, not Moses, was in charge of the nation, and that Israel was dependent on the Lord for victory. Moses put God first in the life of the people. Had the people paid attention to this, they would have avoided the sins that later brought them much sorrow.