Having just worshiped the golden calf, the Israelites are taken to the promise land but God does not go with them. This served as a test for them: Do you want God himself or just the good that he can give you? The Israelites mourned the loss of closeness with God and, in repentance, sought the Lord. Those seeking Him separated themselves within the tent of meeting and worshipped the Lord. 

Exodus 33:7

“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.”