Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part VIII - Blessing By Currently And Closely Following God's Leading
(Numbers 9:1-14, 15-23)
  1. Introduction
    1. We who believe in Christ know it is important to follow the Lord in our lives. Indeed, all who are true believers in Christ are actually led by God according to Romans 8:14.
    2. However, we often tend to view "God's leading" as occurring only in times of life's "big events," when there is a crisis in the job or marital status, or when we are in an emergency room. In truth, God's leading involves much more than just "big events," and Numbers 9:1-14, 15-23 shows us how this is so!
  2. Blessing By Currently And Closely Following God's Leading, Numbers 9:1-14, 15-23.
    1. On the second year after leaving Egypt, God called Moses to have Israel keep the Passover, Num. 9:1-3.
    2. Though the nation kept the Passover (Numbers 9:4-5), a few men had touched a dead human body, and thus were ceremonially unclean and unable to eat the Passover at the time; thus, they asked Moses what they were supposed to do regarding the Passover as they were blocked from keeping it at that time, 9:6-7.
    3. Moses might have suggested skipping their keeping the feast so as not to violate it, or of their keeping the feast though unclean were he have to followed his OWN thinking. However, as both of these ideas would have fallen short of God's perfect righteousness, Moses wisely urged his questioners to wait until he sought the LORD'S WILL on the matter, Numbers 9:8.
    4. God accordingly told Moses what to do in such unusual circumstances as follows (Numbers 9:9-14):
      1. In cases where men had been ceremonially defiled from participating in the Passover, or were on a long journey far from the nation and so could not keep the Feast, they were to make adjustments either ceremonially or geographically and celebrate the Feast one month later, Numbers 9:10-12.
      2. This delayed celebration was allowed only for these two circumstances, and that even for foreigners in Israel's midst, Numbers 9:13-14.
    5. Moses' choice to seek God's immediate guidance on this practical issue was not only condoned by God, but promoted in the description of how God led the nation in the wilderness journeys (as follows):
      1. The Lord's presence was seen in Israel over the tabernacle on a continual basis: by day it appeared as a cloud and by night as an illuminating, guiding pillar of fire, Numbers 9:15-16.
      2. Now, when the cloud moved, the nation moved in accord with the cloud so they would stay under it throughout their wilderness journeys, Numbers 9:17-18.
      3. However, the cloud would stay at a given campsite for various lengths of time; as such, the nation was obliged to pay current attention to the cloud and stay close to God's leading at all times:
        1. At times the cloud stayed for many days; in that case, the nation stayed there for those days, 9:19.
        2. At other times, the cloud stayed in one spot only for a few days; that meant the nation had to move on after staying in camp for only for a few days, Numbers 9:20.
        3. On occasion, the cloud would stay put only overnight and then moved on; the nation accordingly had to move after staying camped only overnight, Numbers 9:21.
        4. Moses writes the cloud could stay two days, a month or a year, and the nation had to follow suit in each case staying the respective two days, one month or whole year, Numbers 9:22.
        5. The point was this: whenever and wherever the cloud was, that is where the nation was supposed to be, and so the people had to follow the Lord's current leading closely, Numbers 9:23.
Lesson: Though God has given us minds with which to THINK on our OWN, He yet wants us ALWAYS to FOLLOW His LEAD in our lives, and to do so for events we CURRENTLY experience, and that by paying CLOSE attention to His leading AT ALL TIMES!

Application: (1) When as in Moses' case a situation arises demanding a decision on our part, and we do not have immediate knowledge of God's will on the issue, we MUST follow Moses' lead and WAIT for God's leading! (2) Since God's leading does not come only at regular time intervals (He can lead us hour by hour, day by day, month by month or year by year as He led Israel), OUR part is to PAY ATTENTION and FOLLOW CLOSELY and CURRENTLY at ALL times so we don't miss His leading!