Devotionals Archive

Daybreak: Numbers 9:1-23

Dec 21, 2020

“At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed: they kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 9:23)

I clearly remember considering marriage with my girlfriend. For some years, my prayer had been that if it were God’s will for me to marry, I wanted someone who was a solid Christian. This young lady easily fit the bill. I decided to talk with one of the ministers for advice on how to approach this correctly.

He knew us both but did not tell me what to do. Instead, he posed a series of questions about our individual spiritual priorities as well as our personal relationship with each other. The minister did not want me to answer all the questions for him, but rather proposed them as a means of establishing whether the matter was settled in my heart before God.

There were many positive reasons to proceed, but still I agonized over the decision, realizing the lifetime impact. I prayed earnestly, and wished that God would speak out of Heaven or do something obvious to let me know which way to move.

There was no such lightning bolt. However, I soon realized that many small details, including an internal peace about the matter, led to the answer. Over time, a sequence of events clearly pointed to God’s leading. One evening, time seemed to stop as I posed the big question. My girlfriend paused for a moment and then said, “Yes!” I was ecstatic!

Christians today do not have a cloud by day or a pillar of fire by night to show us God’s perfect will, as the Children of Israel did. After sufficient prayer, we must look at indicators to determine what direction God would have us go. Some questions honestly answered can help us find that direction.

  • What Biblical precepts apply, and what do they say regarding this decision and its timing?
  • In the most careful and honest frame of heart, what is the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit saying?
  • How do other saints of God feel about the options and timing?
  • Do the circumstances indicate this is God’s direction? Do the doors continue to open?

God still leads, when we are willing to seek His guidance and then follow. My wife and I have been married over ten years and are still happy about it!


The first portion of this chapter deals with the celebration of the Passover. This passage in Numbers records the only instance where Israel observed the Passover during the whole time they wandered in the wilderness. At this time, Moses faced the problem of what to do about people who desired to partake of the Passover but were forbidden to do so because they had touched a dead body. The solution was that another Passover would be held one month later for these people.

The Children of Israel were pilgrims and strangers in the land through which they traveled, and they constantly needed the guidance of God. For this purpose, the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night were given. The Lord ordered the movements of the pillars, and whenever they moved, either at daytime or nighttime, the people had to be ready to pack up and follow.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)

I.   The preparation for the journey from Sinai
     D.   The measures for the maintenance of worship in the camp
           3.   The celebration of the Passover (9:1-14)
                 a.   The command (9:1-3)
                 b.   The observance (9:4-5)
                 c.   The provisions in case of defilement (9:6-14)
           4.   The reality of the presence of Jehovah (9:15-23)

A Closer Look

  1. When was the Passover Feast to be celebrated?
  2. Why did God use a human leader (Moses) even though the cloud and fire clearly signaled when the people were to move or stay?
  3. Since there is no cloud or pillar of fire available today, how do you know when God is leading in a certain direction?


God carefully led the Israelites by clear means. Although the signs may be different, God still provides clear means of guidance today.

Reference Materials