SOAP Journal – 09 March 2017 (Numbers 9:8)

Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the LORD will command concerning you.”

Numbers 9:8

In the wilderness, the Israelites are observing the Passover. When the date rolls around, there are some folks who recently handled a dead body — probably burying a loved one — and are therefore ceremonially unclean. These folks come to Moses and ask why they cannot observe the Passover. I suspect the question was phrased more along the lines of wondering why they should not observer the Passover. From these folks and from Moses’s response and their subsequent actions, I take a few lessons.

First, they wanted to be a part what God was doing. The Passover rolls around and they are ceremonially unclean and, instead of just shrugging and concluding that they will catch the Passover train the next time it rolls through, they go to Moses and ask if God would have a problem with them celebrating Passover with everyone else. They wanted to be involved in the things of God.

Second, they sought guidance. These folks did not just run off and do what they thought was right, but brought the matter to Moses. This happens after the whole system of leaders judging less involved matters had already been established, so the question had been filtered up to Moses through the normal process. By the time Moses heard the question and took it to God, I am certain that a small group of interested individuals had formed. More, I am reasonably sure that there was a small crowd of people wanting to know the answer present. And, when God hands down the answer, He tells Moses to take the answer to the whole congregation. The guidance sought by a few brought direction to the many.

Third, they waited on God’s answer. Moses tells them to wait while he asks God and gets an answer to their question. And they wait. There is no account of them deciding to go rogue and observe the Passover anyway. They asked their question, then waited for an answer.

Finally, they did what God said. This is not explicitly stated in the account, but can be implied based on what has gone before. These people wanted to be a part of the Passover. They came looking for guidance. They waited for the answer. For them to not do the thing they had asked permission to do seems absurd.

This is how I should handle “gray areas” in my walk with God; all those places where The Bible does not say anything about my situation explicitly. If I want to be a part of what I see God doing and think myself disqualified for some reason, let me seek guidance from God and wait on His answer. Once I get that answer, let me obey.

Thank You, Father, for this reminder that there is a way that You have given to deal with the places where something seems good to me, but may not be. Thank You that You want to guide me through my uncertainties and that You are willing to answer if only I will ask.

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