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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Psalm 8:7

Psalm 8:7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.

The Hebrew word, “chesed,” is translated  mercy in this verse and can also be translated grace, favor or loyal love. There are great similarities between this word and the word for charity. But, according to Jewish Sages there is a difference. Charity gives to the poor. Chesed gives to anyone. Charity gives money. Chesed gives in money and time. Charity gives to the living and Chesed gives to the living a pays great respect to the dead. That is the mercy of God!

images5In this light, now read the verse again and understand the multitude of God’s love as we enter His presence.

To understand this love brings upon us the response of worship. The word here used for worship also means to lay prostrate. This worship will lay us to the ground in awe rather than a crying fear. It is a picture of one being overwhelmed with a love and favor from God that is so undeserving.

Knowledge of Good And Evil

Genesis 3:4-7 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the ree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Up until this point in time Adam and Eve enjoyed the pureness of God’s presence. They lived in complete obedience with God’s boundaries. This does not mean that they were slaves to God but, as children with their parents, lived fulfilled and pleasant lives within the safety of God’s oversight.

Was there something magical in the fruit that they eat. My opinion is no. I don’t believe that it was the fruit that had some kind of powers or chemical reaction with their brains. It was the act of disobedience.

When God breathed into them they became living souls. The breath of God is what the bible refers to as the spirit of Man. Man is spirit, soul, and body. God’s Spirit communes with us through our spirit to the soul. It was at the point of disobeying that, for the first time, they made a decision from their lust of the flesh to determine what was good. She saw that the tree was good for food.

It was at the point that she determined that it was good. She became her own authority. When our decision concludes good when God has already deemed it bad, it makes God’s word seem as evil. It was disobedience. Do you see where to knowledge of good and evil come in now? In the decision to eat from the tree Eve became her own authority or elohiym, disqualifying God as her authority.

God’s name, Yawah, is never introduced until chapter 2 when He created man. Genesis 1 refers to Him as Elohiym which literally means authority. He spoke. He created. Now, in chapter 3 man attempts to be his own elohiym, his own authority. It is in this way he attempted to become like elohiym, not Yawah (verse 5).

In Genesis 5:3 Adam begot Seth in his own likeness. If Adam were still in the likeness of God then so would Seth be in the likeness of God. But, not so. Adam and Eve sinned, and produces offspring after their kind of which we are still in the likeness of Adam, inheriting the knowledge of good and evil

It is one of the hardest things to overcome in a Christian life, listening only to God’s voice and not giving in to what our flesh determines good.

The challenge: If Jesus has been asked to come into your life, let Him call the shots. Let Him speak the good into our lives and learn to know your own voice that tries to pick out what is good. It is make God the authority again.