If you follow through from yesterday’s passage you’ll see here that the organisation of the itinerant nation of Israel continues. Order and structure are very healthy. They help us to know our place and purpose as we discovered yesterday. Now we see that the tribes were organised in a particular way. From a purely practical point of view that would have made their movement through the wilderness easier to handle. As each new camp site was found the central point could be decided upon and everything else was located around it. Each tribe knew their place and within that each family would have known their spot too. Simple, efficient and when you needed to find someone, no matter what location you’d moved to you would always know where to look for them. It’s brilliant. They only thing that would be different was the topography.
The key aspect of this is that God was always at the centre. The Tent of Meeting was right in the heart of this mobile nation. So you would always know where God was. You would always know that in the middle of everything that was going on in life God was there.
That’s the great lesson that we need to learn from this and hold onto for ourselves. If we can always keep God at the centre of our lives, in the middle of our being we’ll always know where we’re going and how to find our way. Just as the nation in this passage was arranged around the points of the compass life should be arranged around our God. He is our compass. That’s the reason that the 10 commandments are written in the order they are. The first 4 talk about our relationship with God – the business of keeping Him at the centre of all things. The remaining 6 are about our relationships with each other. (See Exodus 20)
There is a great worship song entitled ‘Jesus Be the Centre,’ it talks about Him being the wind in our sails and I love the picture that paints for us. When we keep God (Jesus, Holy Spirit) in the centre of our lives He is the wind that drives us forward.
Lord God help me to keep you at the centre of my life. Don’t let me re-orientate my compass to suit my own desires or needs but always look to you. Guide me Lord as I go through each day. Amen.