The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7 NIV
The cat got out. This worried the dogs so much that they chased her under the porch. The cat hid there and wouldn’t come out. This bothered the dogs even more and they went under the porch too. After much calling, they came out and surrounded the porch. The dogs set up an encampment around the back porch crying and whining for the cat.
The dictionary defines encampment as a place with temporary accommodations consisting of huts or tents, typically for troops or nomads. The dogs didn’t set up tents or huts but the Israelites did when they left Egypt. They set up a tent of meeting for God to dwell in during their journey to the promised land. It was a portable earthly dwelling place and the tribes of Judah camped around it. The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire to give them light at night. They could travel day or night (Exodus 13:21). The Israelites did not leave their temporary encampment around the tabernacle until God moved.
God laid out the design for the tent of meeting and how the tribes of Judah would camp. The Levites had a special place with Moses as they were the priests. They were set apart to care for the tabernacle. Each person and tribe had its place and God was in the center. When God moved, they broke camp and followed. When he stopped the Israelites set up the camp and stayed until further directions were given.
I don’t think we have to camp around the sanctuary today to hear from God. Jesus died and gave us direct access to the Father but there is definitely something to learn from the Israelites. Are we encamping around God’s throne today? Do we follow him by day and night, ready to set up camp at the drop of a hat. Do we wait for further instructions or run ahead? Is his throne room filled with our prayers?
We all love to envision throngs of angels surrounding us. We know they are protecting us and waiting on us according to the father’s will but do we also imagine us, God’s people, surrounding the throne of God? Not only do we need to encamp around it for prayer and direction but to cry “Holy”! We should be bringing praise and thanksgiving to him 24/7 for he is worthy!