July 03, 2020

God at the Center

Numbers 2:1-2, 32-34

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting. . . .”

—  Numbers 2:1-2

For many people, summertime is camping season. It’s a great time to go camping and enjoy the outdoors.

For 40 years in the wilderness, Israel camped. They didn’t have permanent homes; they lived in tents.

Their camping arrangement was set by God. Each tribe had its assigned place. What was most notable about the arrangement is that all the tribes camped around the tent of meeting. The tabernacle, or tent of meeting, was the place where God was present and lived among his people, and it was the center of the camp. God was in the midst of his people. The Lord was at the heart of Israel’s life and wilderness journey.

The truth that God is with us is one of the most repeated promises in the Bible. God tells us that he will be with us wherever we go. God, who is faithful, will never leave us or forsake us.

Today we know that God came to live among us in the person of his Son, Jesus. At his birth, Jesus was called Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). This is a promise that should encourage us through the wilderness of life.

But there’s also a challenge to respond to. Are we living with God in the center of our lives?

Lord, you have promised to be with us always. Help us also to live with you at the center of our lives each day. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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