Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the LORD went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.
So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle.
And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door.
So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.
Outside the camp is where — in reality — we meet Jesus face-to-face. The first mention of the phrase is in Exodus 29:14 But the flesh of the bull, with its skin and its offal, you shall burn with fire outside the camp. It is a sin offering. This sin offering was an ‘atonement’; in essence a purification of the nation or individual, but after the offering was made, the remains had to be disposed away from the meeting place. In a sense, it was spiritually ‘putting the rubbish out’; keeping the house clean.
But here in Exodus, we read of Moses turning this idea on its head by taking ‘the tabernacle of meeting’ — the place of worship — out into the desert to meet with The Lord, where He appeared to Moses in the pillar of cloud (‘pillar’ representing ‘upright, righteous’, and ‘cloud’ showing ‘His presence’). Now the LORD appeared at the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood above the door of the tabernacle. [Deuteronomy 31:15]
The principle established here is be ye separate, as expressed by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. This is from the Amplified Bible …
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness?
What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favour,
And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
But Paul does not tell here of the whole story. The Book of Hebrews tells us that we are to go forth to Him [Jesus], outside the camp, bearing His reproach, which is to say ‘carrying, or enduring sufferings with Him’. And we can bear it, because He already has and is with us. Our atonement for sin is only accomplished through His.
Meditate On These Things
HEBREWS 13:10-14 [AMPC]
We have an altar from which those who serve and worship in the tabernacle have no right to eat.
For when the blood of animals is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin, the victims’ bodies are burned outside the limits of the camp.
Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city’s] gate in order that He might purify and consecrate the people through [the shedding of] His own blood and set them apart as holy [for God].
Let us then go forth [from all that would prevent us] to Him outside the camp [at Calvary], bearing the contempt and abuse and shame with Him.
For here we have no permanent city, but we are looking for the one which is to come.
OUTSIDE THE CAMP — Colin Buchanan
A HOLY OCCUPATION: Oswald Chambers on PRAYER
GEORGE and GILL STEWART