“Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent” (Exodus 33:11).
It is always amazing and such a blessing to read over a passage of scripture and see something I have never observed previously. Meditating on the word gives God an opportunity to hit the pause button and make me take notice of something that challenges and encourages me. I have read the account of Moses and the Tent of Meeting in Exodus 33 countless times…but today when I read it, I gravitated toward the last part of verse 11: “When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”
It was as if I suddenly felt God urging me to pay attention to Joshua in the midst of a passage talking about the intimate relationship between God and Moses…which is the relationship I have always focused on in the past. So, I decided to sit with this verse for a season. I found myself asking many hypothetical questions. Why did Moses take Joshua with him to the Tent? Did Joshua actually go into the tent, as implied in the wording of the Scripture, or was he sitting just outside as most servants would likely do? Was Joshua able to hear the conversations between God and Moses? Certainly, he would have, whether he was inside or just outside. Why would Joshua, who was the servant of Moses, not accompany Moses back to the camp? How long did he stay at the Tent of Meeting before returning to the service of Moses? And, why didn’t Moses seem to care that Joshua stayed behind? Did Moses instruct him to stay there? We don’t have the answers to those questions specifically, but recognizing that Joshua the servant was also the protégé, mentee and ultimate successor of Moses, his “extra” time in the Tent seems to have even greater significance.
Not only did Joshua stay in the Tent, but scripture says he “would not depart” from it…in other words, he refused to leave. Was this time in the presence of God preparation and on the job training for Joshua’s soon to be leadership position, even though he didn’t really know all that God had in mind at the time? Perhaps Joshua was simply spending time in God’s presence to know Him better because the beauty and majesty of God was so compelling that this young leader couldn’t resist soaking and worshiping the One who had obviously captivated his heart.
Father, renew my passion for You! Help my heart to be hungry for Your Presence. May I be filled to overflowing with awe as Your Holy Spirit stirs my heart to know You more deeply and fully. Give me the desire Joshua had to stay continually near to You, worshiping Your majesty.
–Adapted from the blog Time in the Tent by Kim Butts. Click the link to read the entire blog.
Praise the Creator of the stars, the sun, the sky, the earth, and all life in this vast creation. Thank him for having created you and providing for all your needs. Confess the doubts you’ve had that God could supply your needs from the storehouse of his abundance. Commit yourself to a way of giving that is as generous and loving as your Father’s. Ask God to continue to supply all your needs.
Ask God to meet the needs of families who struggle to make ends meet financially. Pray that their eyes will be turned to the Lord and to his ability to provide.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.