Don't forget that God's tent is always right next to yours.
But Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. —Genesis 25:27 (nas)
There is a wonderful scene in Genesis 32 where Jacob, having left his father-in-law and striking out on his own with his family, servants, and livestock, encounters the “angels of God.” He overnights there and names the place Mahanaim, saying, “This is God’s camp” (Genesis 32:2).
One interpretation of this name is that Jacob saw two angels. Another is that it denotes two camps: Jacob’s and God’s. For someone who has tented in campgrounds from childhood, God’s tent pitched alongside mine makes a powerful image.
I don’t camp much anymore, but I do have my tent set up all summer on our acreage. It’s an outdoor sanctuary where I go to think and pray and read my Bible. I find it uncommon that my close friend Cheryl also has a tent hideaway. Not many women get excited over having their own private tents!
This year Cheryl is moving from her secluded property and wonders where she’ll pitch her tent. I’ve invited her to stake it beside mine. We grinned at the idea of being side by side, quietly companionable in our “forts.”
There’s something immensely reassuring about two camps. Jacob had eyes to see the angels making camp with him. I wonder how often God’s tent has been right next to mine and I didn’t know it. Maybe a summer of tenting with my friend beside me is just the visual I need.
Two tents, my Friend—Yours and mine—that’s all I ask.
Digging Deeper: Gn 32:1–21
Written by Carol Knapp