Obeying God’s Law
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Deuteronomy 4:7, 8.
Concerning His commandments God declared, through Moses, to His people: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations”.
The precious instruction that the Lord gave to His people from Mount Sinai was carried to them all through their wilderness wandering, and was repeated by them wheresoever they encamped. God designed that they should give to the surrounding nations a representation of Him and of His law, by the words they would speak, and in a variety of other ways. On many occasions, as they met the people who knew not God, they exalted their Leader as a great and holy Being whom all should always honor and respect and reverence.
The surrounding nations were to become acquainted with the exalted principles of the God-given laws that the leaders were educating the people to observe. Then, instead of demeriting the people thus instructed, they would regard the observance of these laws as a proof that this was a people peculiarly blessed indeed among the nations.
Another remarkable exhibition to the nations round about was the perfect order observed in the camp of the Israelites. They could see the cloud hovering over the place where the tabernacle was to be pitched; they observed the priests and other appointed agencies going about their special work, each one doing the part assigned him in the work of preparing the camp for the night. No one did anything that someone else should do. Whoever would have tried to do another man’s work would have suffered the death penalty. Each one attended to his special duty. In the erecting of the tabernacle, part fitted to part, and the house of the Lord was set up with beautiful precision. Not a word was spoken, not an order given, excepting by the one in charge. No one was confused; everything was put together in accordance with the similitude shown to Moses in the mount.
Everything connected with the pitching of the camp was an object lesson to the children, schooling them in habits of precision and carefulness and order. The children that were old enough were required to learn how to pitch the tents in which they lived, and to observe perfect order in all that they did. Constantly they were obtaining an education in regard to heavenly things. Constantly the parents were explaining to their children why the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness; why the law was given at Sinai; and what they expected to do and to be when they reached the Land of Promise