Posted by: dhkrause | September 30, 2013

The Dwelling Place of God

A central theme of the Bible is that God desires to dwell with His people and in His people, and that the Messiah comes to make this possible.  A. W. Tozer writes in his book, “Man: The Dwelling Place of God”:

“DEEP INSIDE EVERY MAN there is a private sanctum where dwells the mysterious essence of his being. This far-in reality is that in the man which is what it is of itself without reference to any other part of the man’s complex nature. It is the man’s “I Am,” a gift from the I AM who created him.” …
“The importance of all this cannot be overestimated as we think and study and pray. It reveals the essential spirituality of mankind.” …
“That which makes him a human being is not his body but his spirit, in which the image of God originally lay.  One of the most liberating declarations in the New Testament is this:
‘The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.’ (John 4:23, 24).”

David worshiped God in spirit and in truth, as exemplified in Psalm 57, a song of praise and worship written as he was hiding in a cave fleeing from the army of Saul:

Psalm 57
My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident.  I will sing; I will sing praises.
Wake up, my soul!  Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
11 God, be exalted above the heavens;
let Your glory be over the whole earth.

The promise of God dwelling with His people is prophetically pictured in the Feast of Tabernacles:

Leviticus 23
33 The Lord spoke to Moses: 34 “Tell the Israelites: The Festival of Booths to the Lord begins on the fifteenth day of this seventh month and continues for seven days.
39 “You are to celebrate the Lord’s festival on the fifteenth day of the seventh month for seven days after you have gathered the produce of the land. There will be complete rest on the first day and complete rest on the eighth day. 40 On the first day you are to take the product of majestic trees—palm fronds, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You are to celebrate it as a festival to the Lord seven days each year.
42 You are to live in booths for seven days. All the native-born of Israel must live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.” 44 So Moses declared the Lord’s appointed times to the Israelites.

God repeatedly promises that His people will live with Him eternally.  For example, in Isaiah 65, God declares that He will create a new heaven and a new earth, and a new Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight:

Isaiah 65
17 “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth;
the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.
18 Then be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating;
for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people.
The sound of weeping and crying will no longer be heard in her.

John 1 describes the Messiah Yeshua, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, coming to take up residence among us:

 John 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him, and apart from Him
not one thing was created that has been created.
Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,  yet the darkness did not overcome it.
11 He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him.
12 But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man, but of God.
14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

In John 14, Jesus, Yeshua describes how the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth will come and dwell in God’s people, and that both the Father and the Son of God will make their home in our hearts:

John 14
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Paul (Shaul) asks believers in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you?”

In Revelation 21, John picks up the theme of God dwelling with His people in a new heaven and a new earth, in the new Jerusalem:

Revelation 21
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.  Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them.
They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 9/29/2013

(Bible Quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)


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