One of the greatest benefits in a mentoring relationship is the unique access the protégé has with their mentor. There is the opportunity for private life moments to be shared between them, if the mentor is willing to be completely open.
Moses has now taken on an assistant, or protégé, named Joshua. One day, while the nation of Israel was camped at the base of Mt. Sinai, Moses receives an invitation to bring the priests and tribal leaders part way up the mountain to fellowship with the Lord. Moses also brought Joshua to this meeting.
Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders, and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire stone, as clear as the sky itself. God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there so that I may give you the stone tablets with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”
So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and went up the mountain of God. He told the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Whoever has a dispute should go to them.”
God personally invites Moses further up Mt. Sinai to receive the law directly from Him. This meeting will be one of the biggest moments in the young history of the nation of Israel. This was big-time stuff, definitely not for those who hadn’t left the kiddie table. Not even the nation’s elders were going. If there ever was a time to leave the trainee behind, this was understandably one of those times.
Instead, when God invited Moses, Moses essentially turned to Joshua and said, “That means you, too.” Moses’ words to the elders were pretty clear: “Wait here for us until we return to you.” Joshua was going to have a front row seat to watch his mentor interact with God.
This wasn’t the only time, either.
Now Moses took a tent and set it up outside the camp, far away from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone who wanted to consult the Lord would go to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would stand up, each one at the door of his tent, and they would watch Moses until he entered the tent.
When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance to the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. As all the people saw the pillar of cloud remaining at the entrance to the tent, they would stand up, then bow in worship, each one at the door of his tent. The Lord spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend.
Then Moses would return to the camp, but his assistant, the young man Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the inside of the tent.
Every time Moses spoke to God, Joshua was there to watch and listen. Think of the conversations he overheard. Imagine the discussions between God and Moses that Joshua was able to witness. Joshua was able to see what God is like and he was being taught about leadership, governance, and God’s expectations – all personally by God – because of his special mentoring relationship with Moses.
Joshua could observe God and Moses interact, away from all the noise of the people. The lessons he learned would affect how he would one day lead the nation.
If you have a mentor, be sure to observe how he or she interacts with God when no one else is around. If you are a mentor, don’t withhold these moments from your protégé. Allowing them to observe you pray and wrestle with God will be just as impactful as your teaching.