A census.  That is how the Book of Numbers starts out, which is how the book got its name, after the numbering of the people of Israel.  That is chapter one.  A lot of names that are hard to pronounce followed by even more names that are hard to pronounce.  Once they were all counted, it was time to arrange their camps.  The Book of Numbers is very organized!

Chapter 2 is where we see this detailed description of where each tribe would set up their camp.  We could go on and on about the numbers of people and who camped next to whom.  However, I hope you did not miss the real strategy here.  The camps were to the north, south, east, and west of a very important part of the arrangement.  The tent of meeting.

You may know that the tent of meeting was a forerunner to the temple.  It was the place that the Israelite people constructed and where the presence of God would reside.  This was an incredibly important part of the camp, and for that matter, their entire lives so it should not surprise us that it was the tent of meeting that was in the center of everything.

The Israelite people constructed their entire camp around the tent of meeting which is where God resided.  They constructed their lives around the presence of God.  So early on in Scripture, we see the importance of making God the center of our lives.  It is so important that it was more than just a spiritual thing.  It was also a physical reality.  They literally built their lives around the Lord.

This has been the call of God since creation.  God calls us to surrender our lives to Him and build our lives in a way that revolves around Him and His presence.  Our faith was never meant to be a part of our lives.  It was meant to be our entire life.  Just like God called the Israelites to center their lives around the tent or meeting (the presence of God), He calls you to build your life around Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I know it is much too easy for me to allow my faith to just be a part of my life rather than the center of my life.  How about you?  When you look at your life, have you built it around Jesus, or have you built it around something else?

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About the Author: Tony Johnson
Tony Johnson is the lead pastor of 2|42 Community Church where he is helping people take next steps with God. Prior to his time at 2|42, Tony served for 15 years in various capacities within the Methodist denomination. He has degrees in broadcasting and marketing from Vincennes University and Ball State University, and he’s also a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. Tony is passionate about helping people discover and embrace their God-given purpose and potential. In his spare time, you can find Tony cheering on the Miami Dolphins or camping and fishing with his family.

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