And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord, and journeyed not.
When the presence of the Lord, represented by the cloud and the fire, rested in one spot, then the people would “keep watch” over it. They wanted to see if and when it would move. This “keeping watch” was not just done by a specially appointed person, although we do know that there was a levitical “guard duty”. Here it describes those as watching as the children of Israel more generally. Obedience to God was being executed to both exacting and complete.
There is a growing part to waiting. God did not necessarily reveal to them why He moved. He did not move only at certain times. He did not answer to them. They answered to Him and obeyed him in his movement.
They like us, have to be willing to wait on God and yet be active and faithful while we are patiently waiting. There is an active waiting that is necessary. We need to “keep watch” over what God wants us to do to move us or keep us in any given situation. We must actively wait.
- Pray- God, let me be open to your direction and presence in my life as I seek you in prayer and study.
- Be active in doing what you know you ought to do, even though we don’t always know God’s timing more specifically.