Dear Brethren,

Last Saturday 27 April 2013 at the Adults Bible Study, we studied from the Book of Numbers the leading of the Lord for the children of Israel. The Lord is indeed good and merciful to lead and bless His people. Today, we can also testify the same God who is good and merciful in leading our lives and our Church. Without Him, we cannot be what we are today. Our Church will have disintegrated long ago if not for the Lord who preserves and keeps us in His power. I like to share 3 verses in God’s leading for Israel which is very applicable to our lives and our Church too.

“So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.” Numbers 9:16

God’s leading is “alway” which is all the way. He never stops leading us and He will be our Guide till death. God sent the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night to lead Israel. In the wilderness, it is very hot in the day. Hence, the Lord is gracious to provide the pillar of cloud to shade His people from the heat. In the night, the wilderness is cold and dark. Again, God is gracious to provide heat and light in the darkness for Israel. God’s leading is perfect and wonderful. We will never lack under the guidance of God. Let us learn to trust God by faith in His leading for us. He never makes any mistake.

“At the commandment of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched.” Numbers 9:18a

God wants the children of Israel to follow His command to go or to stop. To go and journey requires effort and will be tiring. To stop and rest is easy and relaxing but it can lead to complacency and laziness. God knows best that we need to journey and also to rest. He will decide for us and we need only to follow. Thank God when we have to journey with effort and labour for the Lord. Thank God also when He gives us time to rest whether in vacation or enjoying our hobby or sports. Do not complain and compare with others. God has different timing for each one to go or stop. Just be obedient to follow the commandment and leading of the Lord in our lives.

“…whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. 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.” Numbers 9:21b,22a

Israel must learn to journey even in the night when the pillar was taken up. No one likes to travel in the night when it is dark and sleepy. We rather choose to journey in the day. But following the Lord is not our choice to choose what is easy or what are our preferences. This is to tell us that we must be willing to follow the Lord even in difficult times and hardship. Following the Lord Jesus means to take up our cross and deny ourselves.

In the verse, we also learn to wait upon the Lord in His leading. Israel must learn to wait whether 2 days or 1 month or even 1 year to stay put till God commanded them to journey. One of the hardest things to learn in Christian living is to wait upon the Lord. We like to run ahead with our own desire and plan. May the Lord give us the grace to wait till He says go and we will then go. As the Church wait upon the Lord for a Pastor, may we only follow the Lord’s leading and provision at His right time for the right man to pastor us. Pray and wait upon the Lord.

Elder John Leong