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Joshua in the Tent (3)

JOSHUA in the Tent 

(Download this study here.)

By: Peter Bales

No. 1, October 29th, 2023


Joshua was one of the two spies In Numbers 14 who saw the giants in the promised land and thought that God could defeat them.  They said, “…Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:9)


What helped Joshua to have faith, rather than be afraid of the giants?

Good question!  Let’s learn about Joshua…


He’s mentioned in Exodus 17 and 24.  He seems to be a “side-kick” or assistant to Moses. Then we read this account:


EXODUS 33:7-11 (NIV)

7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it at a distance outside the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting, and anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. 8 Then, whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would stand at the entrances to their own tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance, and the LORD would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they would stand up and worship, each one at the entrance to his own tent.  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."


The Tent of Meeting was not the same as the Tabernacle, where priests did sacrifices and the Ark of the Covenant was.


  1. What do you think it means that God spoke to Moses, “face to face, as one speaks to a friend?”
  2. Why do you think Joshua didn’t want to leave?


What else is going on here? Let’s keep reading…

12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:12-14) 

Moses asks God to “teach me your ways.”  He wanted to know how to lead the Israelites!

  1. What are some things you’d like for God to tell you?
  2. What was the Lord’s reply? What do you think about that?
  3. What is the Lord’s “presence?”
    • o How is it like our presence? How is it different?
  4. Have you ever experienced the Lord’s presence and you KNEW it was him? What was that like? 
  5. Do you think this answered Moses’s question?
  6. How does God’s presence help us to know his ways?

Some takeaways from this story:

  • Joshua wasn't content to just follow Moses' God- wanted to hear God for himself
  • He initiated relationship- moved toward God
  • He made it priority
  • Yet he lingered in the tent.


Before we STEP OUT (in faith), we might need to STEP IN (to the tent)!


  1. What does “stepping into the tent of meeting” mean for you?
  2. What keeps you from spending more time with God?


Want to go deeper? 

Read the rest of Exodus 33 and see what happens next!