And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.
God hasn’t commissioned Moses to live a life of solitary advancement. That is, Moses won’t be the founder of an ascetic movement living in the caves of the Canaanite ridges. His mission is far bigger than that. Effectively—and I mean this symbolically of course—Moses has only seen the back of God thus far because God is always moving ahead of him to Zion, always leading him onward, bidding him to follow further up and further in. And Moses can’t catch up until all his brothers and sisters are with him.
It's no small thing here in this Numbers 7 encounter that God doesn’t speak to Moses through heavenly thundering and lightning, nor through pillars of cloud and fire, but through the precious instruments that Moses and the people collaborated to build. Ponder that for a moment, friend. God has always spoken from between the angels, thundering His truth from highest heaven where Seraphim and Cherubim and legions of spirits dwell; but here He speaks through earthen vessels—through sacramental artifacts that saints like Bezalel and Oholiab and numerous other artisans formed with their human hands. What is this but a foreshadowing of divine incarnation?! A reminder that God’s redemptive plan has always been an all-encompassing vision, one fulfilled not by patriarchs and prophets and priests alone but by a holy nation of image-bearing children who outnumber the stars in heaven!
Friend, reflect back on the ministries God has allowed you to join over the past year, of the new brothers and sisters you’ve labored with through the endeavor, and of the needed encouragement you’ve received as a reward for your service. Recall each moment as if it was a mercy seat where God met you in the crevices of your common life! Consider those ups and downs as contours on the ark of your own ongoing testimony! And realize that even now as you read this, even as you lift quiet prayers to the LORD and await His whispered response, that He’s speaking to you between the angels of your own labor of love.