Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When 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. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. Exodus 33:7-11
In that scripture there are 4 actors: the people, Moses, Joshua and God. The people, Moses and Joshua, all have a relationship with God. But they didn’t look for the same intimacy. The people were satisfied with staying in the camp. They were satisfied with worshipping God from afar. They were satisfied with Moses being a mediator.
Moses had a great relationship with God. They were close, like friends. They spoke face to face. Who wouldn’t want that relationship with God? Joshua didn’t want it. He didn’t want to speak face to face with God and then to go back to the camp. He wanted to stay with God. He wanted more intimacy. He was Moses’s assistant, but would let Moses go back alone in the camp. He would stay in the tent where he could spend more time in God’s presence.
He chose to stay outside the camp, alone, just to be with his God while the people were maybe eating, fellowship, dancing or sleeping.
We always have the choice. We can be far, close or closer to God. We need to take that decision everyday, knowing that to be closer means most of the time to be alone, outside the camp. But it is not that bad, because that where Jesus is (Hebrews 13:12-14).