Crystal Writes A Blog

A place to read what Crystal writes

When the Saints Go Marchin’


What makes a saint? It depends on who you ask. Some will say a person can only achieve sainthood by doing great works, and then the church leadership votes them to that exalted position. Others will declare that all who serve God are saints. The classic jazz song above refers to all those who get to walk in when Heaven’s gates swing open wide. By the definition that those who serve God can be called His saints, all the believers in the community of Israel would qualify since the Scriptures keep repeating how they did everything just as God asked them.

In today’s reading from the entire second chapter of the book of Numbers, Numbers 2:1 through 2:34, we read of the division of people into tribes, clans, and families as they prepare to travel wherever God directs them. The people are set up by camps on the east, south, north and west sides of the camp, and each man is to travel under a banner with his clan’s symbol on it. The campers are to surround the Tent of Meeting but at a distance (except for the Levites).

When these saints go marching, they will march according to the direction of the leaders assigned to them, and those leaders march according to the directions they receive from Moses who gets them directly from Yahveh. That is why, even though each man does not hear from God for himself, when they follow these directions, the Scriptures are able to say that they did everything as God directed.

It takes a lot of faith to trust that these men are following the directions of a man who is hearing directly from God, so I’m thankful that God saw fit to include His Holy Spirit in our lives to give us personal direction these days. Of course, the children of Israel had the pillars of cloud and fire, and they were able to see certain evidences of when God was pleased and not. I wonder, though, if we could go back and ask them if they’d rather live in our day and age, would they choose the personal directing of God’s Spirit over the trusting of men?

It’s funny, though. I know there are some people who would rather have the Bible read to them on Sunday mornings, and maybe a few other times if they attend weekly studies, and that’s pretty much the end of their thinking about it. Then there are others who would rather search the Scriptures and study for themselves. The Scriptures tell us to study and to rightly divide (analyze) the word of truth, so I think that covers self-study and group study. I enjoy both. I love to study for myself, and I love to hear and read the perspectives of others. I tend to enjoy discussion more than lecture though because I retain conversations better, and my mind doesn’t wander as much.

Whatever way you learn best, just keep learning. God’s Word is alive, and it can change lives from the page or from the pulpit. We know from our readings, and from history, that God’s ultimate goal is to march ALL His saints into a place of eternity with Him, so whatever camp we march from, let us keep our destination and goal in mind. Let us, as Paul said, press toward the mark that is the high calling in Christ, and be numbered with the saints who will one day march through those heavenly gates.

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May 12, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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