And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
This text expresses the essential spirit of the Jewish dispensation. It is the essential spirit of all God's dispensations. His chief word to man everywhen and everywhere is "Come."
I. This leads me to lay down this general principle—God's privileges, the gifts which He bestows, and the advantages which He confers on some are never intended to be exclusive. They are never meant to dishearten men and drive them to despair, but always to be the means of drawing them to Himself. If God gives to one man advantages which He denies to another, it is that the first may be His minister to bring that other to share in His joy. Ministry, like mercy, is "twice blessed: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
II. The invitation is "Come with us, and we will do you good." (1) Come with us to the house of God. Man is a spirit, and a man's spirit rests only in communing with God and doing the Father's mission. The man who has lifted his soul up from the earth by holy contemplations on the first day of the week will find himself strong to resist the temptation to grovel during the rest. (2) Come with us to the word of truth. There is no condition, there are no circumstances, for which blessed words are not to be found in that book, words such as no mere man could speak to you. Come with us to the word of truth. Learn with us to make it the man of your counsel, the way-book of your pilgrimage. (3) Come with us to the living Saviour. Come and listen to His message of mercy; come and stand before the cross on Calvary; look on Him whom you too have pierced; mourn, and hear for yourself the blessed words, "Thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace." (4) Come with us to the Father's home on high. "Come with us, and we will do you good."
T. Baldwin Brown, Aids to the Development of the Divine Life, No. IV.
References: Numbers 10:29.—A. Raleigh, From Dawn to Perfect Day, p. 123; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xvi., No. 916; R. M. McCheyne, Additional Remains, p. 95; Homiletic Magazine, vol. xi., p. 339, and xii., p. 13; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, 1887, p. 123; A. K. H. B., Towards the Sunset, p. 147. Numbers 10:29-31.—A. Maclaren, The Secret of Power, p. 251; Old Testament Outlines, p. 36. Numbers 10:29-32.—W. Hay Aitken, Mission Sermons, 1st series, p. 154. Numbers 10:29-36.—Parker, vol. iii., p. 183. Numbers 10:35.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vii., No. 368.
Numbers 10:35-36The words of the text were the morning and evening prayer of the children of Israel.
I. Prayer is the best means of reminding ourselves of the presence of God. To place ourselves in His hands before we go forth on our journey, on our pleasure, on our work; to commit ourselves again to Him before we retire to rest—this is the best security for keeping up our faith and trust in Him in whom we all profess to believe, whom we all expect to meet after we leave the world.
II. Prayer is also the best security for our leading a good and happy life. It has been well said twice over by Sir Walter Scott that prayer to the almighty Searcher of hearts is the best check to murmurs against Providence, or to the inroad of worldly passions, because nothing else brings before us so strongly their inconsistency and unreasonableness.
III. No one can pretend to prescribe what another's prayers should be; that each man must know best for himself. But the general spirit in which they should be offered is well expressed in the two great prayers of the text. Whatever may be our particular petition to God in the morning, we must have this object steadily before us: that He will rise and go forth with us to our daily duties and enjoyments, that He may be in our thoughts throughout the day, and that His enemies may flee before Him on every occasion when they lurk for us. And in the evening we have no less before us the desire that God may return to us, however much we have offended Him during the day, that He may turn again and make the light of His countenance to shine upon us.
A. P. Stanley, Sermons in the East, p. 81.
References: Numbers 10:35, Numbers 10:36.—Old Testament Outlines, p. 39; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 220. Numbers 11:1.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes, 1884, p. 42. Numbers 11:1-3.—Parker, vol. iii., p. 190. Numbers 11:11.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 28. Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:17.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. viii., p. 276. Numbers 11:23.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 160; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vii., No. 363; Parker, vol. iv., p. 51.
Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.
And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.
When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.
When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.
But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.
And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.
And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.
And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.
And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.
And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.
And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.
And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.
And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.
And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.
Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.
And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.
And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.
And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.
And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.
And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.
And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.
And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.