Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Read: Exodus 33-35
In Exodus 33 we see God’s prescription for healing a broken, burned-out, frustrated Revolutionary. Remember, in chapter 32 Moses ordered that three thousand of his people be wiped out. How does God heal Moses of his pain? Through intimacy.
In verse seven we read this: “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.” I think that this is an incredibly beautiful and important portion of scripture.
When Moses had questions for the Lord or decisions to make or burdens to share he would leave the business and chaos of camp and meet with God in the “tent of meeting.” And God was deliberate in meeting with Moses. So much so that He sent a pillar of cloud to come down and stay at the entrance of the tent when they spoke. The Israelites— finally starting to figure things out—showed respect (v.8 by standing at the entrances of their tents) and worshipped God whenever He showed up in this way (v.10).
It gets better in verse 11: “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” Do you long for that kind of intimacy with God? To speak with God face to face, like friends? It’s absolutely beautiful! And Moses desperately needed this closeness; he was burned out. He questions God (v.12-13) and is desperate to find out what God wants him to do.
The Lord comforts Moses in verse 14: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Are you comforted by that awesome promise? Moses wasn’t, and in verses 15-16 continues to unload on the Lord. And the Lord continues to reassure him: “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (v.17). Then in a beautiful act of desperation Moses—full of boldness—says: “Now show me your glory” (v.18).
Moses’ wounds were deep and God wanted to heal him through intimacy so what does God do? He put Moses in the cleft of a rock and caused His goodness to pass in front of Moses while saying His name, “the LORD.”
Did you catch that? He didn’t sit him on a couch and give Moses advice. He didn’t prescribe medication. He didn’t send him on a vacation or make him read a self-help book (or would it be a self-help scroll?). He didn’t get a group of Moses’ friends together and have an intervention. All God did was walk by and say His name. The LORD.
Where are the areas in your life that need healing? What are you doing to be deliberate in finding intimacy with God? What are you doing to have a “tent of meeting” experience with God?
Discuss with your group ways you believe you can have personal time with God. Is it Prayer, reading the Bible, going for a walk?