Monday, October 12, 2009

The Leader’s Tent

"Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."

Moses had a special place where he would meet with God. The Bible refers to it as the Tent of Meeting. We are told that it was just a tent, set up "far off" from the rest of the camp. This is how it worked. Whenever Moses needed to talk to God, he would go into the Tent of Meeting. The presence of God in the form of a cloud would descend and rest at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. What happened next was both ordinary and extra-ordinary at the same time. God and Moses would talk. That's it, just talk. The human and the Divine in conversation.

What did they talk about? I don't know. It doesn't say. But the Bible does say that their conversation was that like one friend talking to another. I wonder if you or I could ever be that comfortable talking to God. I imagine that their conversation involved the two million plus people that Moses was leading. Talk about a BIG job. Moses was, in essence, the leader of a nation, much like a president or a prime minister. No doubt he felt in-over-his-head on a daily basis. So what did this greatest of all human leaders do when frustrated, or confused, or stuck? He went and talked to God.

I think there is something else interesting about the Tent of Meeting. The Bible says these meetings that Moses had with God were not secret. In fact, it says that whenever Moses would leave the camp for the Tent of Meeting, word would spread throughout the camp and everybody would stand in the doorway of their own tent and watch as Moses would enter and the cloud would descend. The people knew how often and how long Moses would spend with God.

It is said that people will mimic the habits of their leaders. This seems to be the case with Moses and the Tent of Meeting, for while Moses was in his tent talking to God, the people would bow at their own tents and worship God themselves.

It's all a very powerful and vivid picture.

Passage for Reflection: Exodus 33:7-11

How often do you talk to God? Where do you go to speak with Him? Do you have your own "tent" of meeting? Do your family, your friends, your co-workers know that you and God talk? Can you say that you and God are friends?

"Lord, speak to me and I will obey. Amen."



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