Face to Face with God
Before reading today’s devotional, invite God’s presence to draw near to you. Sit quietly before him and listen.
Read Exodus 33:7-11
 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.  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, each at the entrance to their tent.  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does God meet Moses and the Israelite people?
This section is an aside between the narrative of 1-6 and 12-23. The description of what used to happen, before Moses went up the mountain and came down with the inscribed tablets of stone, helps emphasize just how far the people have fallen in forty days. God regularly allows his presence to be seen by all the people, in the form of a cloud outside a tent. We don’t know how often Moses goes there to speak with the Lord, but it is clearly more than just once (“whenever,” 8,10). And each time Moses walks through the camp to the tent, the people know about it and respond to God in worship (10). What happens between Moses and the Lord is deeply personal and intimate. Moses is inside the tent, and the pillar of cloud stays at the entrance, yet the Lord speaks to him “face to face” (11). How does this compare to other times in Moses’ life when he had close encounters with God (cf. Exod. 3; 4:24; 19:3; 20:21)?
Sometimes it helps to have a special place where we go to spend time with God. Where’s yours?
Father, I yearn to sense Your presence with me and to speak as friends, learning Your will and praising Your glory.