Chapter 9 recounts the celebration of the Passover Feast in the second year after coming out of Egypt. There were certain men who were unclean by virtue of their having touched a dead body. Perhaps they had accidentally come into contact with the body. More likely, I suspect, they had been responsible for carrying out certain duties related to a funeral and in the process, of necessity, had been in contact with the dead body. Moses asked the Lord about this matter, and God graciously allowed these men to keep the Passover the following month. Another reminder, this time of how God so graciously provides for us. He did not cut these men off from the Passover; rather, he made a way for them to keep it. The Lord even made provision for strangers to participate.
The two silver trumpets:
When both were blown, everyone was to gather at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
When only one was blown, the heads of the tribes gathered to Moses.
When sounded as an alarm, the camps on the east were to set out.
Blown a second time as alarm, the camps on the south side were to set out.
Afterward, a long blast summoned the entire assembly.
Alarm was sounded for war.
And the trumpets were to be blown at feast times and over the offerings.
I’m thinking, if Levi reads these chapters, he must be having feelings of great envy. What technology with which to communicate! I’m thinking, also, that our God is not merely a pie-in-the-sky sort of God. He provides for everyday needs and contingencies as we, his people, make our way through this world. Surely, Israel could have sung with us the words of William Williams:
Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore. –William Williams (1745)