He Did Not Depart From The Tabernacle

In His Presence

In His Presence

Exodus 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

This is one of the most important pictures in scripture depicting relationship with God.

Moses had a friendship with God.

Moses spoke to God face to face.

For me, the most important picture is the one over in the corner. It is not the focus. It often goes unnoticed. It’s what is going on with Joshua.

You see, unlike Moses, there is not much written of Joshua’s relationship with God. He was a warrior and the second leader of Israel. He led Israel into their promised land to conquer it.

But, this verse establishes the heart of Joshua. He was not of the priestly tribe of Levi that Moses was from. He was not their national leader. He is young and by this point has played two very important roles; he led Israel into their first fight to defend themselves against and enemy and went with Moses to the Mountain of God.

Notice what is in this verse. It would seem that Joshua followed Moses into the temporary tabernacle that was built before the Tabernacle of Moses was built. He was off to the side while Moses and God had their conversation. But, when business was concluded Moses left but Joshua stayed. Let’s just ask some questions:

  • Why did Joshua stay behind?
  • What was his motive?
  • The verse said that he did not leave the tabernacle. How long did he stay? All day long?
  • Did he and God talk too?
  • Was this the first time he did this and was it the last?

Now, put yourself in Joshua’s place. How long would you stay? What would you talk with God about?

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4 Responses

  1. You asked, “How long did he stay?” It says, “He did not depart”. Was it his first and last? It reads as if each part was habitual, Moses talked face to face, and Joshua stayed behind. I would interpret it as habitually. This passage has always fascinated me. That is one reason Joshua never followed the crowd, he was too busy in His presence!

  2. Interestingly, Joshua’s lifestyle is one rooted in the description the man in Psalm 15!

  3. Moses went to speak with the Elders, Joshua stayed in the presence of God: I have found myself there at times, though mostly it was long ago, when I too was a young man. Moses left only because He was commissioned to go: He too in the beginning spent forty days at the top of the mountain with God, and when he descended he glowed; Joshua was in training.

  4. I would like to quote this blog in my youth group study of Joshua I hope you do not mind

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