When I say order what comes to mind for you? Does it make you thing of having things in the right place – sequence, arrangement? (room in order? thing in place?) Does it make you think of a command, direction, or instruction? (being ordered to do something? ordering food?) Does it make you think of class, level, rank, grade, or position? (upper, middle, lower?) Does it make you think of a request? Does it make you think of purpose?
Order is important in math (order of operations) and it is also important in life!
Order is important in language (Imagine if someone asked you to put the word “only” in the right place in the sentence, consider the different meanings) or else we wouldn’t be able to understand one another!
God’s got a plan and a purpose and when we walk in alignment to His order we can keep our hope and trust in Him! He can see the bigger picture so that all the pieces can come together!
Today’s reading starts in Numbers 2 where God speaks to positioning of the tribes. It helps with setting up and tearing down. It helps with protecting the center. It helps ensure everyone understands their position and their place of role and responsibility. It provides protection on all sides.
Order of Ancestral Households1Adonai said to Moses and Aaron saying, “2Let each man encamp under his own standard among the banners of their ancestral house at an appropriate distance around the Tent of Meeting. 3Those camping on the east—toward the sunrise—will be of the standard of Judah, according to their divisions. Nachshon son of Amminadab, is the prince of the sons of Judah. 4His division, by their number, is 74,600. 5Camping next to him shall be the tribe of Issachar. The prince of the sons of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. 6Their division, by their number, is 54,400. 7Next, the tribe of Zebulun. The prince of the sons of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. 8His division, by count, is 57,400. 9All those numbered to Judah’s camp, by their divisions, are 186,400. They are to advance first. 10The standard of the camp of Reuben shall be on the south side, by their divisions. The prince of the sons of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur. 11His division, by their number, is 46,500. 12Those camping next to them are the tribe of Simeon. The prince of the sons of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 13His division, by their number, is 59,300. 14Next, the tribe of Gad. The prince of the tribe of Gad is Eliasaph son of Reuel. 15His division, by their numbers, is 45,650. 16All those numbered to the camp of Reuben are 151,450. They are to set out second. 17Then the Tent of Meeting will move out with the camp of the Levites, which is in the middle of the camps—just as they were in camp, each person in his own place under his own appropriate standard. 18On the west will be the standard of the camp of Ephraim, by their divisions. The prince of the sons of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud. 19His division, by their numbers, is 40,500. 20Next to him is the tribe of Manasseh. The prince of the sons of Manasseh is Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur. 21His division, by their numbers, is 32,200. 22Next, the tribe of Benjamin. The prince of the sons of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni. 23His division, by their numbers, is 35,400. 24All those numbered to the camp of Ephraim are 108,100, by their divisions. They are to advance third. 25The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north, according to their divisions. The prince of the sons of Dan is Ahiezer, son of Ammishaddai. 26His division, by their numbers, is 62,700. 27Next to him will encamp the tribe of Asher. The prince of the sons of Asher is Pagiel, son of Ochran. 28His division, by their numbers, is 41,500. 29Next, tribe of Naphtali. The prince of the sons of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan. 30His division, by their numbers, is 53,400. 31All those numbered to the camp of Dan are 157,600. They are to advance last by their standards. 32These are the numbers of Bnei-Yisrael, in accordance with their ancestral households. All those counted according to their divisions are 603,550. 33However, the Levites were not counted among Bnei-Yisrael, just as Adonai commanded Moses. 34So Bnei-Yisrael acted in accordance with all that Adonai had commanded Moses. Thus they camped by their standards and set out, each man according to their families and their ancestral houses.–from Numbers 2
It ensures every angle, every direction would be protected! It ensures that when they were settling in or setting out there would be order and direction and purpose!
God is our protector! God is our strength! God is our help!
He Makes Wars Cease1For the music director, of the sons of Korah, according to Alamoth, a song.2God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 3Therefore we will not fear, though the earth change, though the mountains topple into the heart of the seas, 4though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at their swelling. Selah
5There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God— the holy dwelling place of Elyon. 6God is in the midst of her, she will not be shaken. God will help her when morning dawns. 7Nations are in uproar, kingdoms totter, He utters His voice, the earth melts! 8Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah
9Come, see the works of Adonai, who brings devastations on the earth. 10He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns chariots with fire. 11“Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth.” 12Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us. The God of Jacob is our strong tower. Selah–from Psalms 46
It’s more than just positioning. It’s more than just arranging. It’s purposeful! It’s out of obedience! It’s on purpose for a purpose! Order is important! Be it at home, at work, in the community, order has purpose! So how does that impact you? How will it play out in your life? What will you do? How will you act? What will be the impact of your obedience on those around you? Will you show them grace? Will you show them forgiveness? Will your life be the gospel on display for others to learn about God? How will you being in alignment and in order make a difference?
Today’s reading closes showing Jesus’ obedience, alignment, and order. He was willing to go through it to the end in order that the new order would be accomplish. He was willing to give Himself completely as the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to be able to be reconciled to God! It would and could only have been accomplished by God Himself so He took things into His own hands!
Bound and Sentenced1Then Pilate took Yeshua and had Him scourged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and dressed Him in a purple robe. 3They kept coming up to Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and slapping Him over and over. 4Pilate came out again. He said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him out to you, to let you know that I find no case against Him.” 5So Yeshua came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. “Behold, the Man!” Pilate said to them. 6When the ruling kohanim and officers saw Him, they yelled out, “Execute Him! Execute Him!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and execute Him! For I don’t find a case against Him.” 7The Judean leaders answered him, “We have a law, and according to the Torah He must die, because He claimed to be Ben-Elohim!” 8When Pilate heard this word, he became even more fearful. 9He went into the Praetorium again and said to Yeshua, “Where are You from?” But Yeshua gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to Him, “You aren’t speaking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You, and I have the authority to crucify You?” 11Yeshua answered, “You would have no authority over Me if it hadn’t been given to you from above. For this reason, the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.” 12Pilate tried to let Him go after this; but the Judean leaders cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Yeshua out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha). 14It was the Day of Preparation for Passover, about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Judean leaders, “Behold, your king!” 15They shouted back, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Execute Him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I execute your king?” The ruling kohanim answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16Finally, Pilate handed Yeshua over to be crucified.
A Sacrificial Death17Then they took Yeshua. He went out, carrying His own crossbar, to the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side and Yeshua in between. 19Pilate also wrote a sign and put it on the execution stake. It was written, “YESHUA HA-NATZRATI, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20Many Judeans read this sign, because the place where Yeshua was executed was near the city; it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21The ruling kohanim of the Judeans were saying to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22“What I have written, I have written,” Pilate answered. 23So the soldiers, when they executed Yeshua, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part for each soldier. They took His tunic also, but it was seamless, woven top to bottom in one piece. 24So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be.” This was so the Scripture would be fulfilled, “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things. 25Standing near the execution stake of Yeshua were His mother, His mother’s sister, Miriam the wife of Clopas, and Miriam from Magdala. 26Yeshua saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby. He tells His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then He tells the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that very hour, the disciple took her into his own home. 28After this, when Yeshua knew that all things were now completed, to fulfill the Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was sitting there, so they put a sponge soaked with the sour wine on a hyssop branch and brought it to His mouth. 30When Yeshua tasted the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. 31It was the Day of Preparation, and the next day was a festival Shabbat. So that the bodies should not remain on the execution stake during Shabbat, the Judean leaders asked Pilate to have the legs broken and to have the bodies taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then the other who had been executed with Yeshua. 33Now when they came to Yeshua and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35He who has seen it has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of His shall be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”
Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take Yeshua’s body away. Joseph was a disciple of Yeshua, but secretly for fear of the Judean leaders. Pilate gave permission, so Joseph came and took the body away. 39Nicodemus, who had first visited Yeshua at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40Then they took the body of Yeshua and wrapped it in linen with the spices, as is the Jewish burial custom. 41Now in the place where He was executed, there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 42Because it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Yeshua there.–from John 19