"When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD'S order and did not set out." Numbers 9:19
Here was a test of obedience. It was easy to break camp when the fleecy folds of the cloud were gathering from off the tabernacle and moving before God's people. Change is usually pleasant, and there is excitement in traveling, in moving on to the scenery of the next stopping place.
But the waiting, that is something else. However uninviting and oppressive this spot, however trying to flesh and blood, however irksome to impatient dispositions, however exposed to danger the Israelites were, there was no option but to remain and wait.
God often keeps us waiting. The psalmist had the same experience: "I waited patiently for the LORD." But it had its reward, for "He turned to me and heard my cry" (Psalm 40:1). What God did for His saints of old He does for those who in all ages have found Him in Jesus, the Savior from sin. All the while there is the painful waiting. We want to move on from discomforts and unpleasantness. But the cloud of the divine presence remains there. God wants us to wait and, while we wait, to remember that He is in the cloud. He is our guide on life's way.
PRAYER: Grant us patience, Lord, to wait as You prepare to lead us and bless us in Your own time and way. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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