The Tent of Meeting
by Andy Cokayne 7 September 2021
Exodus 33 v7-23
A short while ago my daily bible readings were going through Exodus, including the Tent of Meeting.
Tents have always brought mixed feelings over recent years. From great times of worship in the big top at Spring Harvest and Cliff Festival weekends, where we felt we had met God. To more challenging occasions in tents. On one occasion a few years ago, Karen and I as usual had booked for Cliff Festival, but on this occasion were going to borrow a tent. It was to be a frame tent, however on erection at Cliff College no 'Inner Tent' was to be found, without which nights were going to be very cold. The person lending it to us felt very embarrassed and responsible, and said we could borrow their '2 man' tent, it was a very kind gesture. This was put up diagonally across the inside of the frame tent. The idea and the erection was fine. However we soon realised they were very much smaller people compared to Karen and I, consequently we had a very tight sqeeze to get in, and had to sleep head to toe. Afterwards we thanked the couple dearly for the use of both tents. However, whilst I enjoy being close to Karen, we vowed never to tent at Cliff again. It was an experience too in tense, or 2 in tents, for us.
The Tent of Meeting in Exodus was something else, it was where the peoples representative, Moses, met with God. We read in verse 11 'The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.' What a marvelous, yet awe-full, experience that must have been, to be able to speak to the Living God face to face. I know that sometimes when I pray, I feel that God is so far away, yet I know that it is not Him that has moved.
This passage follows a time when the people had let God down badly, and made, and worshipped the Golden Calf. Moses entered the Tent of Meeting, and we read that the exchange between God and Moses, was not a pleasant conversation but very straight. In our prayers we are to be honest with God, and so not afraid to vent our frustration, or disappointment, but be honest.
This passage records Moses experience in the Tent of Meeting, and shows us that true prayer involves trusting God enough to tell Him what we really think, and loving God enough to know that His Presence is all we really need.
Song: Be Still for the presence of the Lord
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Almighty God Our Heavenly Father, enable us when we pray to sense your presence, and to remember that you are a big God, more than big enough to cope with both our joys and frustrations. Help us as we pray to be honest with you, and not be afraid to express how we really feel. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.