15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it [by day], and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. 18 At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle, they remained encamped. - Num 9:15-19 NKJV
A tabernacle is a covering, dwelling place, home, or a tent. This particular tabernacle was the Lord’s house and the ark of the Covenant was kept in it. The ark was a symbol of the glory and presence of God. The tabernacle was mobile and was designed to be moved, torn down and reconstructed after being transported to a different location.
Apostle Paul compares our bodies to a tent, For we know that if our earthly house, [this] tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. - 2Co 5:1 We are now the tabernacle of God, But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. - 1Jo 2:27 NLT
Moses and the Israelites were brought out of captivity into the wilderness, and it is the same for us at times. We leave a situation of captivity only to find ourselves wondering around in the wilderness in need of God's direction. We need to be led by the Spirit of the living God with a willingness to move when He says move in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He will tell us what we need to know and not necessarily what we want to know. If it is time to move, He will say so, and it will be according to the will of the Father.
The Hebrew word for journey is naw-say’ and it means to pull up, go, or set aside. The life of an Israeli in those days was one of movement in which they walked many miles a day in the elements of the desert, yet the Bible tells us they were covered by the cloud of God’s glory by day, and at night the appearance of fire lit their way. Sometimes we must move in the darkness and trust that God will light up our steps. To walk in the dark requires an adjustment to the environment, as our eyes adjust to the dark in the natural and we can see enough to get by so the Lords light will give our spiritual eyes sight when darkness surrounds us.
Sometimes God asks us to move on and set aside what we are doing and get going towards something He has called us to do. Usually, this call to move is after a period of rest. King James vs. 18 reads, as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. This rest is defined as abiding or growing to an end. Sometimes our journey may come to an abrupt end, and at other times we may find ourselves growing weary in it, not having the grace to continue. No matter where we are on a voyage if we will abide in Jesus and wait on God His plan will direct us.
God charged His people to go where He said to go and in doing as He directed they were protected and provided for. The book of Numbers goes on to say that the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not journey. So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the LORD they would remain encamped, according to the command of the LORD they would journey. ~ Num 9:19-20
Charge is translated from Hebrew mishmereth, and it means to stand firm, keep the post and persevere it also means to watch as a sentry would do. The children of God were to stay still when the cloud was hovering, and they were to watch for God’s next move. When He moved, they moved with Him. God moves, and we follow, not the other way around.
Jesus said if we abide in Him we will bear much fruit. When our walk with Jesus seems to have dried up, and there is no longer fruit coming forth, it may be that we have come to an end on that particular path and it is time to move on. When we have grown weary there may be many reasons, but none are without the Father’s eye, we must ask Him to direct us, or we may end up aborting our assignment. If we stay too long, the birth of our assignment may result in a stillborn! It is not always easy to know where God is leading but He tells us that "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. - John 10:27 So approach God with His word that is never empty nor does it return without fulfilling its purpose. Ask for direction and then wait.
Heavenly Father, I long to see Your glory and be directed by Your Spirit. Today I feel lost and seem to be swaggering back and forth from where I once was to where I think You are leading me. I look to You with the words of Your Son Jesus, My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. Help me hear Your voice that I may follow Your direction on this journey. If I must stay where I am, then I ask for the grace to be carried through this assignment that I might not abort what You have given me in this season, and if I have stayed too long, I ask for another chance to birth the assignment from Heaven. In Jesus name, I ask, Amen