7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9 When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
Think about one of your closest friends and how you share life with each other. You probably share things you probably wouldn’t share with anyone else. The things they know about you are, more than likely, deeply personal. Perhaps you might even be able to finish each other’s sentences or tell exactly what the other is thinking. I think about this sort of relationship when I read about the Lord speaking face to face with Moses. There’s a very rare intimacy between God and Moses.
Just like with human relationships, this relationship didn’t happen overnight. In Exodus 3 and 4, we read of God igniting this relationship through the burning bush. Despite God’s display of power and authority, Moses gave reasons why he couldn’t lead the Hebrews from captivity. But, as the exodus of God’s people progresses, Moses becomes more and more intimate with God to where we find him alone in a tent, ‘face to face’ with God on a regular basis. And the people Moses led knew it.
As with Moses, God is seeking relationship with us. Ever since God walked through the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3 looking for Adam and Eve, he’s been diligently seeking after his human creation. He’s sent prophets, angels (archangels, even!), and ultimately, his own son, Jesus.The temple is a great picture of God’s movement toward us. In the passage above, the tent of meeting is outside the camp. Numbers 1 and 2 show the tabernacle in the middle of the camp, surrounded by the Hebrews, with their tents facing the tabernacle. Solomon builds the temple in the midst of Jerusalem, the city itself residing in the midst of Israel. Finally, in the Gospels we read of Jesus’s sacrifice, leading to his living within us, his temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)!
Where is it you connect best with Jesus? Is it in your bedroom or some other special place in your home? Wherever it is, make a habit of seeking Jesus, seeking the friendship Moses had. Knowing God, as the Holy Spirit, is within you, seek him diligently! Whether you prefer spontaneous or planned times, seek his face with your own, and deepen your relationship with Jesus.
By Rich Obrecht