7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
These couple of verses tell us that Moses was intimate with God in the tent he erected outside the camp. There people could go to inquire of the LORD, but when Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud (Ex 13:21) hovered at its entrance. The size and contents of this tent are not known, but it reminded the people that their sin was an alienating force in their relationship with God. They could worship God but only from a distance (33:10).
We also read how God would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend (v. 11), that is, clearly and openly. Moses’ speaking “face to face” with God does not contradict the fact that he was not allowed to see God’s face (v. 20) as “face to face” is a figurative expression suggesting openness and friendship.
However, based on the work Jesus had done on the cross, and the veil that was torn on crucifixion day, we now too have access to God’s presence. We can now too speak ‘face to face’ with God, like Moses did. God is not an alienating force anymore. He is with us. He is in us.
Thoughts for the day
- How often do you thank God for Jesus’ work on the cross
- How often do you spend time in God’s presence?
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Today, take a moment, wherever you are, to ASK God to move: Share what’s on your heart, asking God to provide, protect and encourage you.