"When the cloud tarried . . . then the children of Israel . . . journeyed not" (Num. 9:19).
This was the supreme test of obedience. It was comparatively easy to strike tents, when the fleecy folds of the cloud were slowly gathering from off the Tabernacle, and it floated majestically before the host. Change is always delightful; and there was excitement and interest in the route, the scenery, and the locality of the next halting-place. But, ah, the tarrying.
Then, however uninviting and sultry the location, however trying to flesh and blood, however irksome to the impatient disposition, however perilously exposed to danger--there was no option but to remain encamped.
The Psalmist says, "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." And what He did for the Old Testament saints He will do for believers throughout all ages.
Still God often keeps us waiting. Face to face with threatening foes, in the midst of alarms, encircled by perils, beneath the impending rock. May we not go? Is it not time to strike our tents? Have we not suffered to the point of utter collapse? May we not exchange the glare and heat for green pastures and still waters?
There is no answer. The cloud tarries, and we must remain, though sure of manna, rock-water, shelter, and defense. God never keeps us at post without assuring us of His presence, and sending us daily supplies.
Wait, young man, do not be in a hurry to make a change! Minister, remain at your post! Until the cloud clearly moves, you must tarry. Wait, then, thy Lord's good pleasure! He will be in plenty of time!--Daily Devotional Commentary
An hour of waiting! Yet there seems such need To reach that spot sublime! I long to reach them--but I long far more To trust HIS time!
"Sit still, my daughter"-- Yet the heathen die, They perish while I stay! I long to reach them--but I long far more To trust HIS way!
'Tis good to get, 'Tis good indeed to give! Yet is it better still-- O'er breadth, thro' length, down length, up height, To trust HIS will! --F. M. N.
The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.