There was a rustle, and the sounds of disorder floated into his tent with the breeze. A young man pulled back the make-shift curtain, and stuck his head inside his tent. "He's going to the tent again."
He stepped out of his tent. There was a soft roar as everyone stepped out of their tents. This is what they did.
As soon as someone caught wind of what he was doing, young boys would run throughout the camp to let everyone know. Then the entire camp would step outside and watched Moses go to the tent. The tent was like a little brown speck on the flaming orange horizon because Moses had insisted that the tent be pitched far away from the camp. Moses had encouraged the people to make the trek to the tent because it was a place for them to meet with the Lord. He called it the tent of meeting. Some of the people went. A lot of them didn't.
Moses always went.
And so did his young assistant.
He held his hand up, shielding his eyes from the sun's harsh glare. Moses was pulling open the tent flap. Once he disappeared inside, most of the people went back to what they were doing.
But he always looked to Moses' assistant.
He never left. While most of the people would only wait for Moses to enter the tent, Joshua would wait outside the tent for Moses. He wouldn't leave. Why, even from this distance he looked determined and invested.
Every time Moses went to the tent, Joshua went with him. Every time. And he never left.
Eventually even he would get tired of standing in the hot sun, and leave. But Joshua never did.
Based on Exodus 33:7-11
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:1-2
My mom use to sing this song to us when we were little. With all the turmoil in my young life, I wanted to know how to get to that secret place of God. Once I was there, I knew I would never leave. I just had to get there first.
I love this story about Moses and Joshua. When God brought the verses from Psalm 91 to mind, He also brought this story to mind.
1) Moses - He was dedicated. Moses would go to the Tent of Meeting in order to have that time with God. His time with God was so special and intimate, that he spoke to God face to face. It was like talking to your best friend! Moses dwelt in the secret place of the Lord.
2) Joshua - He wouldn't leave. Most of the people only waited long enough to watch Moses go inside the tent. Joshua stayed the entire time. He knew that God was there and with Moses. He had seen God do awesome miracles through Moses. He had heard about Moses and God chatting away like best buds. He had seen Moses' face after he spent time with God. Joshua was determined to be apart of that, experience that. Joshua longed to experience God the same way Moses did. Joshua also dwelt in the secret place of the Lord.
Both these men found that elusive "secret place" of God. They did incredible things in their careers for God. Moses freed the Israelites from Egypt, and guided them through the desert. Joshua led the people into the Promised Land. He led the charge against enemy nations, including God's crazy plan to defeat Jericho, and helped settle the Israelites into the land. You don't do things like that unless you are hooked with God. These men had found their refuge, and no matter what happened, they weren't letting go.
Moses found that secret place with God because he was determined to spend real time with God.
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." James 4:8a
Joshua found that secret place because he was determined to choose God first. He hung onto God.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6
Guys, if your heart has ever yearned for the secret place of God, the shelter of His wings, His refuge, then this is the map that will led you right into His waiting arms. Seek that intense relationship with God. Ask for intimacy with the Lord, like friends speaking face to face. Then, get it. Don't let the cares of this world distract you. I'm sure Joshua had plenty of other things he could have been doing instead of sitting outside the Tent of Meeting. He choose God over all of that. Seek God, choose God, and then we will find ourselves under the shadow of His wing.
"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2
V. Joy Palmer