So often, as I am reading through the One Year Bible, I find similar themes in the various daily readings. Today in Mark 13, Jesus challenged His followers to be alert (13:33-37) three to four times as the end draws near. And in today’s reading in Numbers, the Israelites kept their attention fixed on the cloud over the Tabernacle for when the cloud lifted it was time for them to move. “Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out.” (9:22)
Keeping alert is difficult, especially if a significant period of time has passed. My assumption is that if the Israelites had been living in a location for 11 months, that they were pretty well ‘settled in.’ How alert were they? Did they daily check the cloud over the Tabernacle? Were they ‘packed and ready to move’? We are currently in the midst of Lent and preparing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus once again this Easter. It has been some time since Jesus returned to his Father’s side. How alert are you to His ‘any moment’ return?
Are you ‘settled in’ here with your attention focused somewhere other than obedience? Are you comfortable in this life or are your eyes gazing expectently at the door while you await the return of your Master? Does your life give evidence that you are controlled by values which are other worldly? Be alert. Do not let Him catch you sleeping!