Numbers 9:15-23 15 On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it.[a] But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire. 16 This was the regular pattern—at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. 18 In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. 19 If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites stayed and performed their duty to the Lord. 20 Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Tabernacle for only a few days, so the people would stay for only a few days, as the Lord commanded. Then at the Lord’s command they would break camp and move on.21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only overnight and lifted the next morning. But day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and moved on. 22 Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on.23 So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.
We often pay close attention to what the Israelites didn't do. We wonder to ourselves, "How could they not do this? Didn't they see the miracles?" We get lost it what they should have done that we think we would have done that for sure. But look at the story above..these people went to sleep each nigh not knowing if or where God would have them move the next day. Could you imagine having to pack up all you had at a moments notice and move yet again? Could you imagine thinking you were going to get a break only to open your eyes, step out front to stretch and see that cloud rushing up ready to take you somewhere new? Could you imagine feeling all settled in after a year...they that cloud rushing up again? Yet the Israelites in all they did wrong, picked up and moved at a moments notice!
This made me think of how we judge our neighbors and friends... Often by the things they don't do that we do, sometimes only because we already have hindsight. What if we stopped and looked at all our neighbors and friends do right! What if we looked at the people around us in only positive light, asking ourselves, "What can learn from them today?"
From this story about the Israelites we can learn to wake up and say, "God, where would you have me go today?"