Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp…The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Exodus 33:7, 11
Do you long for a close, intimate relationship with God, a kind of life in which you talk freely with Him throughout your day? George Washington Carver shows us that such a warm relationship with God is possible.
Born into slavery in a one-room shanty, Carver was orphaned as a baby. Although he grew up in a time of racial discrimination and injustice, Carver became of the world’s most respected and influential figures. Presidents called him friend, and world leaders from Gandhi to Stalin sought him out for his wisdom.
Thomas Edison promised Carver, “Together we can remake the world.” Carver turned down many lucrative offers from Henry Ford saying that he knew what God had called him to do. Among his many contributions to the world Carver is most remembered for developing 300 products from the peanut, and 118 from the sweet potato. It is not surprising that on Carver’s tombstone are the words:
“He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor being helpful to the world.”
Throughout his life Carver kept a running conversation with God. He liked to ask God questions, then patiently wait for God’s answers. He literally asked God, “Why did You make the peanut?”
Carver began his daylong, running conversation with God first thing in the morning. He described his day as beginning with God: “All my life I have risen regularly at four o’clock and have gone into the woods and talked with God. There He gives me orders for the day.”
Carver called his laboratory at the Tuskegee Institute, “God’s Little Workshop.” There, in the midst of a busy day he would often lock the door so he could meet with God in His ‘Workshop’. He said that he did this because he had learned that “only alone can I draw close enough to God to discover His secrets.”
Today’s scripture describes this kind of meeting with God available for all of God’s people. The scripture tells how in the midst of Israel’s wilderness years, God provided a place for His people to meet and talk with Him. The text says that “outside the camp some distance away,” Moses set up a tent called the “Tent of Meeting”. The Tent was set up so that literally “anyone” who was “inquiring of the LORD” could meet with God there.
The Hebrew word, baqash, translated “inquiring”, is a rich word conveying the idea of seeking God and His guidance. But note that the Tent was set up “outside the camp”, requiring people to step outside the day’s busyness and distraction to meet with God.
George Washington Carver knew the joy and privilege of seeking God and inquiring of Him, in the woods, in his laboratory, or any place throughout the day. Thus he could say: “I ask God daily to give me wisdom, understanding and bodily strength to do His will; hence I am asking and receiving all the time.”
‘Asking and receiving all the time’! Such a life of close, intimate relationship with God is possible, is promised, to anyone seeking Him.
Let’s pray for one another that we might have this close relationship with God wherever our Tent of Meeting or God’s Little Workshop might be!
A fellow traveler,