Today's devotion from Numbers 7:1-32.
Previously in Numbers, we have seen a lot of theory. If this happens, then this should happen. However, as chapter 7 opens we leave the theoretical for a while and implement it in practice. As we do, there is a flow that becomes a bit more obvious.
First, look at the timing. Author Iain Duguid wrote in his commentary on Numbers, "It is not coincidental that this chapter comes after Numbers 6:22-27 (The Priestly Blessing) and not before. The Israelites did not give generously to God so that they could hear him say in response, 'I will surely bless you.' On the contrary, God blessed his people first, and then they gave. This perspective is fundamental to all true Christian giving."
There is a flow of order in how this all happens. The leaders of the tribes brought an offering that Moses was to receive, then send on to the priests in order to accomplish their tasks. The leaders of each tribe also gave a dedication offering, each of which is listed in the verses that follow vs.11. This is an important insight into godly leadership. They, the leaders, led the way in giving and worship. Their giving enabled others to give.
Throughout this brief description in Numbers 7, what we are seeing is the flow of following God. He leads the way, establishes the path, blazes the trail. This sounds redundant, but in order to follow God, we must actually let Him lead. Then, those He has called to leadership are not there cracking a whip to force others forward, but they are the first in line behind God, helping others find the path and walk it. This is the case in worship and in life.
This is applicable to my leadership in the office as Lead Pastor, my leadership in worship as Preaching Pastor, and in my home as husband and father. Ultimately, I can't force others to follow God, but I can take my position behind Him, and serve others by making their path a bit easier.
Who is in your life that you are to lead? Who can you help follow God by going before them and pointing the way? Is it family? Friends? Coworkers? Let us follow God and give of ourselves generously as a response to the grace we have found, not the favor the seek. That's the flow of following God.