Scripture: (On the EAST Judah, Issachar, Zebulun) All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first. Numbers 2:9 NIV
(On the SOUTH Reuben, Simeon, Gad) All the men assigned to the camp of Reuben, according to their divisions, number 151,450. They will set out second. Numbers 2:16 NIV
(On the WEST Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin) All the men assigned to the camp of Ephraim, according to their divisions, number 108,100. They will set out third. Numbers 2:24 NIV
(On the NORTH Dan, Asher, Naphtali) All the men assigned to the camp of Dan number 157,600. They will set out last, under their standards. Numbers 2:31 NIV
So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each with his clan and family. Numbers 2:34 NIV
(The Levites, the priests, camped in the middle around the tabernacle)
Observation: The Israelites are instructed on the exact formation of their encampment around the tabernacle.
Application: This is an exciting day for me. I learned this lesson years ago and have been excited to get to share it here. Read all of Numbers 2 and keep in mind that the Lord is giving exact order and placement of all the Israelite tribes, clan by clan. Basically, they were to set up each camp, radiating out, east, south, west, and north in rectangles. East was a rectangle of 186,400 people, south was a rectangle of 151,450 people, west was a rectangle of 108,100 people, and finally north was a rectangle 157,600 people. The Levites, the priests, camped in the middle around the tabernacle. I believe that at the heart, because of the almost constant act of sacrifice, blood flowed freely. We now see that there was a specific order and layout of the Israelite camp with sacrifice in the middle. Imagine yourself soaring above the camp and looking down on the configuration. Do you realize what you would see? You would see God’s plan for salvation, Christ’s crucifixion cross! To me that is an awesome picture. I don’t believe that it is an accident. Isn’t God cool? Who would have thought that the book of Numbers actually foretold of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross?
Prayer: Father, thank you for giving us your word and for the depiction of salvation found in the book of Numbers. I believe that you intentionally set up the Israelite camp as you did just to foretell of Christ. Thank you. Amen