“There I will meet with the people of Israel…I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God.
And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt
that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.”
Exodus 29:43, 45-46
The Lord delivered His people, that He might dwell among them. What a beautiful display of intentional pursuit, of desired relationship.
This is why He delivers us as well. To dwell with us. Surrounding us as the Lord our God, that title itself designating personal relationship. Dwelling between our shoulders. Ever-present and ever-faithful, ever-acting on our behalf.
He delivers us into salvation, freedom from sin and darkness, for initial and everlasting relationship. And he delivers us through difficulties and storms for the strengthening of that relationship and a deeper understanding of who He is. The Most High, the Faithful One. Our constant, our strength, our comforter, and our hope.
All of it is to bring us closer, to dwell more richly in the presence of the Lord our God. Experiencing His power and goodness. Realizing the intimacy of this relationship in which we are fully known and wholly loved.
“For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”
As difficult as those seasons are, the times of trial and testing, God uses them to bring us into a place of abundance. A place of joy and glory, in which our God is known to us. In which we see to a greater extent that He does, indeed, dwell with us. That he has been faithful. That He brought us through, never failing and never leaving for a moment.
May God compel our hearts to contemplate this today, to reflect on the scriptures that show us His heart, His desire to draw near to us. To not just be a part of our lives, but to be our life, now and forever, filling us with the fullness of Himself.
“I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.”
“And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them, and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.
He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’…
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.”
Revelation 21:1, 3-4, 22-35