The construction of the tabernacle, altar, and the sacrificial tools was finished and the blessing of these instruments commenced in Numbers 7.
The amount of detail God keeps record of in the book of Numbers is astounding. The number of people, sacrificed animals, weight of the tools, etc. are all written down for us to study. The beauty of the sacrificing ritual down to the placement of oil and sifting of fine flour is stunning. I don’t think we take enough time to reflect on the precision that it took for the Israelites to appease God, and appreciate that all we Gentiles have to do is believe on Christ and accept him as our Savior.
Like Christ, the Levites acted as scapegoats for the firstborn of the children of Israel (ch. 8:18) who were required to do service and be an atonement (v. 19) for the Israelites.
I also love the image of the cloud of God surrounding the tabernacle in chapter 9:15-16. Imagine a cloud hovering around your church auditorium during the day, and a pillar of fire surrounding it at night. Would there be any way to mistake your church for one lacking the spirit of God?
In the end of chapter 10, something strange and supernatural occurs. In verse 33, it says “the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them” as if it is somehow autonomous. It says nothing about anyone carrying the ark in this verse. Then in verse 35, “when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered;” and in 36, “when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.”
It appears that the ark is flying around ahead of Moses looking for a resting place (v. 33) being followed by the “cloud of the LORD” (v. 34). No one seems to be directing its movements. On the contrary, the children of Israel are following the direction of the ark. This is an Identified Flying Object (IFO) that if seen by a shepherd in the countryside would be unidentified (UFO).
Just because a flying object is unidentified to us, does not make it extraterrestrial.