“Those to camp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah by their companies, the chief of the people of Judah being Nahshon the son of Amminadab, his company as listed being 74,600.”
Ponder the literal and allegorical depth of significance in this simple statement: to get to the sunrise, you’ve got to go through Judah.
“I am the light of the world,” said our Lord in John 8:12. “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Later, in Revelation 22:16, our Lord speaks again,"I, Jesus … am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Peter borrows that metaphor in 2 Peter 1:19-20 while speaking of divine prophecy being fulfilled in Christ: “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” In a picture, Christ is the Sunrise. He’s the glorious Morning Star that brings light to the cavernous world, the genesis Word ‘let there be light’ incarnated in our own flesh and blood!
Is your spirit troubled today by the darkness all around you, friend? Do you sense the forces of night encroaching on your spirit, advancing against your faith? Does the fire of God’s presence seem like a towering pillar before hell’s armies or more like the last embers of a dying campfire? Look to the east! Through the standard of Judah, over the shoulders of those 74,000 warriors! Watch the bleak, black sky drown in a wave of florescent theophany! See afresh what Isaiah saw in Isaiah 9:2 & 6: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Let’s make Psalm 108:1-2 our song of resolution today as we stand at the horizon of earth and heaven awaiting the Morning: “My heart is steadfast, Oh God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!”