Exodus 33 is one of my favorite chapters in the Old Testament. Why? I will show you! 🙂
“Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And it came about, that everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. And it came about, whenever 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. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” ~ Exodus 33:7-11a
These verses are packed with interesting things. First of all, if you wanted to seek the LORD, you could go to the tent of meeting. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a specific place to go talk to God? But wait…because of Jesus, all we have to do is prepare our hearts and talk to God right where we are. If only I would be still and quiet more often, and be ready to hear what He has to say to me.
Next, notice that all of the people watched Moses go to the tent, all of the people saw the pillar of cloud descend and stand at the entrance of the tent (God Himself!), and all of the people would arise and worship. Remember, the sons of Israel were worshipping a golden idol in the last chapter, and they were severely punished for it. In fact, the most terrible consequence they were to pay was God’s presence not remaining with them. “‘Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, lest I destroy you on the way.'” ~ Exodus 33:3. We are told in 33:4, that “When the people heard this sad word, they went into mourning,”. It appears that all the people were repentant.
Can you imagine seeing God Himself descend and stand, talking with Moses? Awesome.
Finally, verse 11 is simply astounding ~ “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” Isn’t that amazing? That is what I want! I want to be able to speak face to face with God, just as with a friend. Beautiful. Wow!
I like the rest of the chapter even more, but that will have to wait for my next post. 🙂