A Stroll At Leisure With God

Moses and Paul

Well, I knew it was a little too good to be true, and sure enough, I was right. I started to have some shoulder pain late yesterday afternoon. It has not been as bad as it was before, but still …

I have to tell all of you that this is deeply frustrating for me, and I am starting to get worried about what is really going on.

I have a CAT scan scheduled for next Tuesday. It should give the doctor some type of insight, I hope. We will see. This is just something else to turn over to God.

Well, this morning, I am intrigued as I read two stories from the lives of two famous men in God’s Word. I’m interested because the contrast helps me cope with what is going on in my life right now.

Let’s start with Moses. In the travels of the people of Israel in the wilderness, Exodus 33 tells us that Moses had a tent of meeting. He would set it up outside the camp, and he would go into the tent to meet with the Lord.

When he did that, the narrative tells us that the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent. This was outward evidence of what was going on inside the tent: “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent” (Exodus
33:11 NASB).

Two interesting things about this—first, Joshua shared this intimate relationship that Moses and the Lord experienced. Second, the rest of the community watched as Moses went into the tent. In fact, they would stand at the entrance to their own tent and worship.

But here is the thing: Moses and Joshua enjoyed that intimate, face to face relationship with the Lord in the tent of meeting, but the rest of the folks did NOT.

Then benefitted. Don’t get me wrong. Moses interceded for them. But they did not have that intimacy with the Lord.

Fast-forward to the New Testament—another one of my favorite chapters is Acts 27—the shipwreck story. This is another example of intercession. But here is the huge difference: because of the gospel and Paul’s salvation, HE was able to commune with the Lord just as Moses did.

In Paul’s face-to-face conversation with God, the Lord assured him and Paul shared this with the crew: “For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.' Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on a certain island’” (Acts
27:23-26 NASB).

Interesting. Like Moses, Paul interceded. In both instances, the “communities” for which they prayed benefitted. HOWEVER, unlike the experience of Moses (never replicated EVER AGAIN in history), Paul had a relationship with the Lord that is possible for all of us to share. AND, we can have it anywhere.

Moses needed a designated place—a tent of meeting. That is the one place where he could commune with God.

As believers, we are the tents of meeting and we can take that tent anywhere, at any time, even out on Mediterranean Sea in the middle of a Nor’easter. Even there.

Lord, I rejoice this morning at the prospect of my “portable” tent of meeting. You are with me all the time, no matter where I am. I continue to pray for the church I serve. I lift them up to You again this morning. Enable me to be to grow as an intercessor just as Moses and Paul were. Thank You for this pesky arm injury. Thank You for the extra time it affords me to pray. Help me to use this opportunity wisely. Amen.
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