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March 29—Lenten Devotional 2014

March 29—Lenten Devotional 2014

Lent 2014Now 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. 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. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped at the entrances to their tents. 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.
Exodus 33:7-11

In some of the darkest days of my Wilderness a simple chorus I learned as a boy at church camp came back to me. Its words gave me hope for the road ahead:

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is follow.
Strength for today is mine all the way,
And all that I need for tomorrow.
My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is follow.
(Words and music by Sydney E. Cox)

It occurred to me that if my Lord knew the way through the Wilderness, then I didn’t have to know. But I would need to stick close to Him and follow. As I pondered the Exodus journey I was struck by the “tent of meeting” that God provided for His people in the Wilderness. The tent of meeting is not to be confused with the Tabernacle (mishkan, “dwelling place” or “residence”) which God directed to be constructed for worship (Exodus 25-27; 35-40). The tent of meeting was for “anyone inquiring of the LORD”. They could go “to the tent of meeting outside the camp”.

As we journey through the Wilderness it is essential that we draw close to God and follow. He has repeatedly promised to guide any who “inquire” of Him. Continual inquiring of God marks King David’s life (I Samuel 23:2; 30:8; II Samuel 5:19; Psalm 27:4); on the other hand, King Saul’s wayward life is marked by stubborn refusal to inquire of God or seek Him for guidance (I Chronicles 10:13). God has promised to guide His people in “right paths for His Name’s sake” (Psalm23:3). Our Shepherd’s good name and reputation are at stake in knowing how to guide His sheep through the Wilderness all the way home.

Consider setting up your own “tent of meeting”, a regular time and place where you meet and inquire of God. Think about where you would like to have it. Also think about what you want to take with you: Bible, devotional book, music, hymnal, journal, etc. As you take time to meet with God in your “tent of meeting” you will find yourself drawn closer to Him in your journey. He knows the way!

REFLECTION

  • Why do you think that Israel’s “tent of meeting” was set up outside the camp? What meaning, if any, does that have for you?
  • Take a few moments to reflect on God’s word in Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you”.
This Post Has One Comment
  1. Mary Fran Austin has sent me your Advent & Lent studies for the past several years. They have been so inspiring, worthwhile & meaningful. I shared one of the study books with my sis & bro-in-law, who are 87 & 91. He went in the hosp. yest afternoon with a “bleed”. Just before leaving for hosp., he looked up at my sis and said “is this the wilderness we have been reading about?” For sure we all have many wilderness throughout life, BUT GOD!
    Thank you so much for these studies & now that I went to the web site, I see that Mary Fran will no longer have to mail them to me, I can read them daily on this site. Thank you.
    God’s rich blessings be yours,
    Mary Jo

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