Nearly two weeks ago, I teamed up with two pastor friends, one in Florida and another in Georgia, to read through the Bible in 90 days, using YouVersion’s 90 Day reading plan. It’s a pretty neat little arrangement – after signing up for an account, you go there each day to see that day’s reading with a simple check-off feature. It’s funny how that little bit of accountability has help me stay on track.
In thirteen days, I have been reminded how I love this living story. I love it’s scope, it’s characters, it’s message, and that the final chapters are yet to be lived out.
Oh, and I think I’d like my own tent of meeting.
The Biblical description of this traveling tabernacle is remarkable. Wherever they went, they assembled this massive tent structure with all of trappings of God. The Ark of the Covenant was there, the incense, the vestments. The very presence of God filled the room in a manifest way. No speaker had to announce his presence, no one had to ask “Did you feel that?’. God Almighty entered the building and He was not going to be missed.
I’ll admit, reading this in the past I’ve gotten bogged down in the details of how many cubits of this and how many hammered shekels of that…but this reading has been different. I’ve been filled with awe about this tent. I’ve imagined standing outside, hearing and sensing what is going on inside…being afraid to go inside, yet inwardly yearning to go. More than once, I’ve thought “I need to get me a Tent of Meeting.”
Immediate, uncultivated, unfettered access to God has always been the ultimate desire of man…to return to the culture of Eden, where God walked with man.
Even so, the Tent of Meeting was not this. There was sin to be dealt with. Protocol to be followed. This was not so much a meeting between friends or even the Made and the Maker. This was legal business. This was a courtroom where penalties were accounted for. If things were not done perfectly by imperfect beings, as the saying goes “unfortunate incidences could occur.”
Perhaps what I’m longing for is not a desert tent and a set of rules. What I really want to experience is that sense of awe. There have been times in my life where I’ve caught a glimpse of it….the ‘He’s here…’ sense. It’s happened in meetings. It’s happened alone, while driving in the car. It’s happened while I’ve been speaking to a crowd and while I’ve stood in the desert alone.
I know that in my theology, He is everywhere and always, but in my perception, He is certainly some places more than others. This is not a reflection on Him – more accurately, it points to gaps in my perception. As a seer, I am inexperienced and a little dull.
I guess what I need isn’t so much a tent of meeting as eyes to see and a heart to feel. Suddenly, I’m doubly grateful that God doesn’t stay in the tent. With my limited understanding, I’d probably never see Him at all.
OK. I rescind my request. I don’t want a tent. I’m glad the Truth is out there. Among us. As eager as we are to be known. I hope you see Him today.
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