Sympathy Sleeping

Oct 01 2019

​It must be something like sympathy sleeping. Since my men folk have returned to PNG I don’t sleep well at night. Seems like I am wide awake on PNG time. This morning I have been trying to put the hours to good use. As the baby sleeps I have uninterrupted time to read, work, and think.

Though oceans and several states may separate us we (the Pryor family) have committed to read through our Bibles together, as we have done in times past. As Naleh prepared to go to college, I thought that another family read through of the Bible might be a nice way to keep us all connected to each other and to God who sustains us all. There are certain chapters as you read through the Bible that are sweet. The words bring comfort the stories entertain and the passages challenge our perceptions of the world and of ourselves. These aren’t the chapters I have been reading through. We are currently reading Exodus. The chapters for the past several days have been specific instructions on the precise building of of the tabernacle and its ornaments. Usually when I finish reading I like to think back on at least one thing I can take with me, one new observation, some insight into who God is or what he is telling me. For several days it has been a struggle; then came my reading this morning.

Exodus 33:11 “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”

So, two huge things here for me. How often have you wished for God to make His will known? How often have you prayed, “Just tell me what to do and I will do it.”? He spoke to him face to face as a man speaks to his friend. I had to pause and just think about this. In this chapter we read about how God was prepared to destroy the Israelites and Moses speaks out on their behalf and begs God to be merciful. God heard him. He listened and showed mercy. If this doesn’t inspire you to pray, to talk to God as if talking with a friend, if this doesn’t give you hope that your prayers are heard I don’t know what will. Todd Agnew has a song “Written on the Wall”. I love the lyrics. They cry out to God for Him to make His will plain. That has been a constant theme in my prayers for my children. I pray they will seek God’s will, His place for them in the world and dwell in it.

The other equally impactful half of this verse talks about Joshua, the young man who would not depart from the tent. This doesn’t sound on the surface to be that big of a deal, but when combined with a previous verse, Exodus 33:9 it takes on new importance.

“Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent and the Lord would speak with Moses.” Exodus 33:9

Joshua wouldn’t leave the tent. He didn’t want to leave the place of the presence of the Lord. He didn’t want to miss out on one minute to hear, to see, the be near the Lord and learn from his servant Moses. The focus, the drive and passion he must have had to know the Lord, to understand what was happening between the Lord and Moses. Many “young men” might have had any number of other things on their minds, but not Joshua. Many of you know that later he and Caleb are called upon with many others to spy out the land of Canaan. While 10 other men trembled in fear at what they saw Caleb, and Joshua, the man who would not leave the tent, the place of the presence of the Lord, stood confident and ready to depend upon the Lord.

Today’s take away: Pray and seek to be in His Presence today and everyday. Don’t be silent, don’t hide, don’t be preoccupied with less important things. Stay in the tent like Joshua and speak to your Friend, Father, Redeemer and Lord as Moses did.

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