Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 183

The Terrible Grumblings of God’s People

This chapter is based on Numbers 10 to 12.

The government of Israel was very organized, amazingly complete and simple. God was the center of government—He was the ruler of Israel. Moses stood as leader to administer the law in His name. Later, a council of seventy was chosen to assist Moses in the general business of the nation. Next came the priests, who consulted the Lord in the sanctuary. Chiefs, or princes, ruled over the tribes. Under these were “leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens” (Deuteronomy 1:15).

The Hebrew camp was separated into three great divisions. In the center was the tabernacle, the dwelling place of the invisible King. The priests and Levites were stationed around the tabernacle. All the other tribes were camped beyond the priests and Levites.

Each tribe was assigned a position. Each was to march and to camp beside its own banner, as the Lord had commanded (Numbers 2:2, 17). The mixed multitude that had accompanied Israel from Egypt were to stay on the outskirts of the camp, and their children were to be excluded from the community until the third generation (Deuteronomy 23:7, 8).

Strict order and specific sanitary regulations were enforced, rules essential to preserving health among so large a group of people. It was also necessary to maintain perfect order and purity. God declared: “The Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy” (Deuteronomy 23:14).

In all of Israel’s traveling, “the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them ... to search out a resting place for them.” Priests with silver trumpets were stationed near the ark, and these priests received directions from Moses, which they communicated to the people by the trumpets. It was the duty of the leaders of each company to give precise directions concerning all the movements to be made, as indicated by the trumpets.

God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; complete discipline is a feature of the movements of all the angels. Success can only come with order and cooperative, well-balanced action. God requires

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