After having been freed from Egypt, the Israelites have been moving for two years. But, while the cloud sits over the Tabernacle, they cannot move. [conflict] Finally, however, the cloud lifts from the Tabernacle of the Covenant and the Israelites leave Sinai and travel to Paran. Then God gives Moses [main characters] instructions to lead as the Kohathite division of the Levites carry the sacred objects from the Tabernacle so that when the Israelites arrive, everything will be arranged for worship.
In a smaller conflict, Moses speaks with his brother-in-law, Hobab, and asks him to accompany him and the other Israelites to the Promised Land because he knows the places in the wilderness where they should camp. To induce Hobab, Moses tells him that the Lord will reward him as He has "given wonderful promises." And, as the Israelites move each day, the cloud of the Lord hovers over them, protecting them. Whenever they move again, Moses calls upon the Lord to arise and attack their enemies since Hobab was not with them to keep them from danger. And, when they set up camp, Moses again calls upon the Lord to protect them.