As the children of Israel are traveling through the wilderness, God appears to Moses on Mount Sinai; there is thunder, lightning, a thick cloud, and the sound of a trumpet. The camp area would have been where regular life took place. While God was meeting with Moses on the mountain top, each person or family in Israel would have lived in some form of tent, the combined group of people and their tents made up “the camp”. In the vicinity of the tent there would have been a fire to cook and heat water, laundry would be done, meals prepared, broken articles would be fixed. From our perspective, “the camp” would represent the daily routines of life that may or may not be necessary but nevertheless are still accomplished.
Then “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God.”(Exodus 19:17) God could have come and met with the Children of Israel while they were in the camp, but instead Moses took the people out of the camp to meet with God. Perhaps Moses knew that in the business of life we are often distracted by the many things that are around us and so we don’t sense or see or desire to connect with God. We are too busy for meeting with God, there are other things on our mind that consume our thoughts, our energy is applied to the work, enjoyments and desires of life. So the people needed to come “out of the camp” to meet with God. They needed to pull away from the daily pressures and routines to deliberately meet with God. Perhaps we too need to take regular times to pull away from the routines, the life of the camp, so that we would meet with God!
On a second thought, have you ever noticed, that when there are some situations which startingly pull you out of the routine, we sometimes automatically try to draw closer to God. If there is a relationship which is suddenly shaken, a major financial pressure jumps before us, one’s health is in jeopardy, etc. then we call out to God and attempt to come close to Him. These disasters or situations can force us, or quickly convince us, to come out of “the camp” or to pull from the routines of life so that we will meet with God.
Jesus often left the people, the camp, the business to meet with God in prayer. “When He (Jesus) had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” Matthew 14:23 Perhaps instead of waiting for the disasters or the challenges to come we should regularly pull aside from the business of life to meet with God. We need to deliberately take efforts to put aside the distractions, the pleasures and the responsibilities to come “out of the camp” so we will meet with God. How is that working out in your life?
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