And he [Abram] moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Genesis 12:8
I have been reading through the 2018 America’s Keswick Bible Reading Plan, and I trust you are joining me on the journey. This year we are reading through the Bible chronologically. I was going to use the One Year Bible hard copy, but I have been enjoying reading through the plan using my YouVersion app. Great way to keep track of your reading plan.
As I have been reading through the Genesis stories, there is a phrase that has jumped out numerous time so early on in the book – “and he pitched his tent.” This phrase is used about Abram, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and then Moses will say the same thing.
I began to meditate and think about this phrase. I haven’t followed the phrase all the way through the Bible, but in biblical times a tent was one’s dwelling place. Some tents were quite simple, and some were quite extensive. One account said that they were little apartments with different rooms.
I have never been into camping. My Board Chairman has often said that his definition of camping is staying in an upscale Marriott Hotel.
First of all, I am mechanically challenged, so for me, even the thoughts of trying to erect a tent gives me the shivers. In fact, last summer our Minnesota grands wanted Jan and me to help them with their tent (which had no directions). It never happened.
Obviously pitching a tent means that an individual and his family have decided to camp out there for more than just a couple of days. It needed to be convenient to a well or other water supply as accessible to a place to secure one’s food.
But thinking about this further, I wondered if there is a spiritual significance to this phrase that goes a little deeper. Another word connected with “biblical tenting” is the word “dwell.”
So I ask the question, where have you and I pitched our tents?
Where have we pitched our mind-tents? Have we settled in a place where we are thinking about godly things? The Apostle Paul wrote this: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and in anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
So looking at that list, where is my mind dwelling these days? Am I camping out in the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust the eyes and the pride of life) or I am dwelling in what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, etc.?
What am I watching on TV? I have friends who won’t have cable in their homes because of the junk that is one there, but yet spends hours looking at YouTube and other questionable sites.
Am I dwelling or camping out in the Word or am I reading everything but the Word? Books are great. Devotionals are helpful. Commentaries can be very helpful. But how much time do we spend digging/dwelling/camping out in the Word?
Pretty interesting question to ask. I guess that you can think of other places, situations, activities where you may have pitched your tent in a not so good place.
Take a few minutes to ask the Lord if it is time for you to move your tent from a not so good place to a place that would be a greater benefit to your daily spiritual walk. I am doing that too.
I’d love to hear from you.
Abounding in hope,
President/CEO America’s Keswick
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: “If you look for God’s working in your life, if you thoughtfully trace it out and reflect on it, you will be surprised by how much you begin to see.” Mark Dever
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, Psalm 33:18