As I read through the accounts of leaders showing their respect and devotion to God, I have an appreciation for the names listed as a way of honoring the individuals. Most of these names are unfamiliar, but they served God with all they had.
It’s difficult to wrap my mind around the scale of this enterprise, some 2 million people plus livestock. The sheer magnitude creates the potential for chaos. The rules, that is compliance with the rules, provides a basis for civility. I can only imagine that this was not the case for the neighboring territories, all part of God’s plan to show his people as distinct.
Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses. Numbers 8:20
Side note: the word Israelite is often hyphenated: Isra – elite. I know this isn’t proper Etymology, but it’s interesting. 🙂
Sometimes the people camped for a few days, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. “Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” Numbers 9:22.
Unwinding 400+ years of slavery was an arduous task that was going to take time. Moses probably figured this out early on. The theme is all about devotion, about letting go of personal desires, of putting God first. There is much to learn from this disposition.