ODJ: sacred places

June 26, 2015 

READ: Exodus 33:7-17 

Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend (v.11).

It was a holy place, a sacred place, a place unlike any other temple. Before there had come the marble and gold, altars and precious stones, columns, walls and the Holy of Holies, it was a place of divine-human intimacy. The construction costs were relatively small, it had no great beauty, and it was nothing anyone would envy.

After all, it was just a tent.

But that tent became the place where one man asked questions, listened, led a nation and made history.

The Tent of Meeting was God’s special appointment room for meeting with His people (Exodus 29:42-43). Before the Israelites had a temple, Moses set up the canopy, nailed its pegs into the ground, entered in and communed with God. Whenever Moses set off towards the tent, the community would watch in awe. Something special was about to happen—a new commandment might be given, a solution to a community problem might be revealed, a new leader might be named. As Moses took step after careful step towards the tent, God’s presence would descend in a “pillar of cloud” (33:9).

In the tent Moses would unload his problems (v.12), come to know God better (v.13), hear His voice (v.17) and even receive musical inspiration (Deuteronomy 31:19). As the community observed what took place, they were moved to worship: “When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents” (33:10).

The Tent of Meeting reminds us that God requires no special building in which to meet us. If He met with Moses in a tent, He will meet us anywhere. His presence makes any place sacred.

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day-plan: John 5:1-47

Read James 4:8 to see how God draws near when we approach Him. Read Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:12 to see some of Jesus’ “sacred places”. 
Where’s your sacred place for meeting with God? What are some ways you can meet with Him throughout the day?