Today’s devotion is entitled, “Why Delays?” and my text is Numbers 9:20, where we see, “And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.” (KJV) In this text, we are given the way Israel knew whether to move toward the Promised Land or to stay put where they were in their journey. The presence of the Lord “the cloud” upon the Tabernacle was to be looked to and followed, but to an Israelite that was in a hurry, or impatient, this would be considered as a frustrating delay. In our modern day, delays are always frustrating, at least on the surface. For the child of God who has their focus on the Lord, delays are a manifestation of the loving foreknowledge and care of a Savior that knows the end from the beginning! He sees “down the road” and has our best interest in His heart.
God’s Word contains many instances of delays and the setting in our text is just one. During Israel’s journey to the Land of Canaan, God ordered their “stops” and their “starts” and I’m sure that many in the camp was wondering “Why?!” In verse 22 we read, “Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.” (KJV) How difficult this must have been for the Israelites who were not walking by faith. How frustrating it must have been for those in the camp who saw this command as a “delay” to their plan of enjoying a land flowing with milk and honey. It is so important that we learn that God is the God of “starts” and “stops!” He knows the end from the beginning and all points in between. What may seem like a delay to us, may in fact be, the loving heart of God keeping us out of a dangerous set of circumstances that we didn’t see coming. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
Pastor Joey Durham