God is the great Organizer. Creation reveals His organizational skills as He forms the heavens and the earth and then fills them with life. Throughout the process He creates systems (solar system, ecological system, reproductive systems, biological systems) which He has sustained for thousands of years.
The Lord gave Israel a number of systems during their first year while they camped at Mount Sinai: the sacrificial and Levitical priesthood systems; sanitation and dietary systems; judicial, social, and moral system; and Israel's entire cultural ethos. New systems for a new people.
Moving 2.5 million people through the desert requires another system. The Lord gives a system for that as well.
The Lord begins with a census, "Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers" houses, according to the number of names, every male individually" (Num. 1:2). He instructs Moses to designate one man from each tribe to assist him in numbering the whole community by their clans and families. The Lord has Moses create a banner for each tribe and positions each tribe at a specific place around the perimeter of Tent of Meeting.
In Numbers 10 the Lord introduces an announcement system using trumpets. When two trumpets sound, the whole community is to assemble before Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. At the sound of one trumpet the community prepares to move, and at the sound of the second trumpet the tribes camping on the east are to set out. His subsequent instructions give other signals designed to communicate different instructions to the entire community. He organizes His people as an army ready to march forward from Egypt to the Promised Land, using His systems for discipline and direction.
Every system God gives His people communicates His direction, reveals His care, and protects His nation from the chaos of the nations around them. His simple system of summoning and grouping His people works effectively for forty years as the community moves nearly fifty times in the wilderness.
What do the laws regulating offerings given when taken vows reveal about making vows?
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