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Wednesday January 2 – Decently and in good order

The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side. – Numbers 2:2

Scripture reading: Numbers 2

Would it not be wonderful to have a bird’s eye view of the camp of Israel? Numbers 2 describes the specific directions the LORD gives for the arrangement of the camp of Israel. Each tribe and clan receives its designated place. Yes, there is a place for everyone. Because they are God’s people, the camp has to reflect His character. He is a God of order. For this reason, both the setting up of the camp as well as the breaking up of it is to be done orderly. This is one of the reasons why Reformed churches value order in the church (see Belgic Confession, Article 32).

Another element that stands out when overlooking the camp is that all the tribes are located around the Tent of Meeting. This tent represents the presence of the LORD. Israel is set apart from other nations because the LORD God dwells among them. Isn’t this the blessing of God’s covenant?

This blessing has become even richer in the New Testament church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Lord dwells among us with His Word and Spirit. This is the miracle of His grace! The Lord is the center of the church. We live from God, He is the fount of every blessing. Everything we do is because of Him and for Him. Where He dwells, things ought to be done decently and in good order. The church can only remain church when the Lord is in the center.

Suggestions for prayer 

Thank the Lord for His willingness to dwell among us. Ask that as churches we remain faithful to the Lord and His Word. Pray that the order of the church may be used to promote harmony and unity.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelphand also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.

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