Summary: A veiw of a camp site and what we can learn from it.
In Chapter 1, the tribes were numbered for battle.
In chapter 2 they are numbered for the purposes of worship.
Chapter 2 Verse 1 says, "And the Lord spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard (his own flag), with the banner of their father’s house, far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch."
When you read down through chapter 2 you will notice that on the east side there were three tribes, the west side there were three tribes, the north side there were three tribes, and on the south side there were three tribes.
There was one tribe on each side that was over the other two. The four major tribes would be Judah, Reuben, Ephraim and Dan.
These tribes of Israel were all organized around the Tabernacle. Why? For purposes of worship.
The Tabernacle, the place of worship, was the center of the life of the tribes of Israel. It’s a beautiful thing.
Every tribe had its own standard, its own flag, and every family had its own banner.
I want you to visualize how it must have been out in the wilderness with these Children of Israel. Get the picture. You’ve got a series of rectangles.
The Tabernacle was a rectangle; then there was a linen curtain around the Tabernacle and it was a rectangle. Then the Levites were set up in rectangular formation outside of the curtain, and then in a rectangular form around the Levites were all of these 12 tribes of Israel with their beautiful flags and banners. Above them was the glory cloud. When the glory cloud lifted up, it was the message to the people of God that they were all to go. The horns began to blow and the Children of Israel began to move. Can you imagine what an awesome sight it was in that wilderness as the people of God marched under those banners?
NOW WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS
#1 We must pitch together. verse 2
Now the instruction here was: Everyone is to camp together! You mark this down: No Christian will ever walk in victory alone. We need each other. God tells them to organize by distinguishable signs. There was familiarity, commonness, and strength in the unity.
#2 We must camp and break camp with our standard!
Well the standard or banner was their identification. It was the family crest if you will. Let me tell you what our banner, our standard, our mark of identification is for us today. In Exodus 17 we find the story of the battle between the children of Israel and the Amalekites. On that day Jesus became the victory. Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah-Nissi. That is the Lord is Our Banner. the only way you’ll ever get victory in your life is through Divine help! You better camp with your Standard. You better break camp with your Standard. That’s the only way to have victory.
#3 Our Banner must be displayed for all to see.
We need to be proud that we are Christians. We need to display our banner for the entire world to see. We belong to the family of God. For I’m part of the family, the family of God!
#4 Everyone must be in their place. verse 17
So shall they set forth or move forward. Every man in his place. That’s the only way we will ever accomplish all that God wants us to accomplish for His kingdom, is if every man is in his place! God has gifted each and every believer in order for us to move forward as a church.
#5 We must camp around the Tabernacle. verse 2
Now the Tabernacle represented the presence and power of God. They camped a little ways off from it because they were to have respect and reverence for it. Let me ask you a question. Is God the center point of your life? If God is not in the center of everything you do, then you’re missing out on the victory that He wants you to have. Everything must be centered around God. When we rest (that’s in our churches, our homes, etc.) and when we move (that’s what happens when we leave here).
#6 There were four major divisions: Judah, Reuben Ephraim and Dan. Their banner according to rabbical customs were:
Judah- Green with a Lion
Ephraim – Red with a face of a man
Ephraim – Gold with an ox
Dan- Red and white with an eagle.
Now look at Ezekiel 1:10 the living creatures had the same faces as the banners. So the picture of the Israelites in the wilderness was a picture of heaven.
7. The Levites were not counted among the other tribes. Vs 33
8. The Israelites to this point are obedient to God. Vs 34