A Dwelling Place

Editor’s Note: Last week we saw how God spoke to His people in days of old through the prophets, telling them that a Messiah would come to rescue them from darkness. God’s Word through the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and others pointed to the people’s sin and their need for a Messiah to come and to take away their sins, reconciling them to their God. That Messiah, Jesus, became the perfect prophet, who speaks to us through His Word today. This week we are going to explore our Messiah as Priest, who calls us to worship and who mediates a new and better covenant that provides for atonement, so we might dwell with our God.

Pause: Exodus 25:8-9, Exodus 29:44-46, Leviticus 26:11-12, Zechariah 2:10-13

Last Christmas we wrapped up cat food and kitty litter for our boys with the promise that we would get the long-awaited kitty once the holiday season was over. Sure enough come January, a 2-year-old rescue kitty joined our family. Almost since we brought her home, she has been my shadow. My husband jokes that if he sees the cat then he knows I am close by and vice versa. She chooses to dwell wherever I am. She lounges on the kitchen floor while I cook, sits in my laundry basket while I fold clothes, sleeps on my bed while I am in that room, perches in the window while I am busy on the couch, and generally pads around behind me while I do chores. She has no real agenda other than wanting to be fed in the mornings. She just wants to be with me.

As we read in our Saturday posts, our God has a desire to be with us, too, to dwell with us. From the beginning of time, God has created, loved, and pursued His people just to be with them. He went so far as to create a dwelling place among His people in the center of their camp and to appear in a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night as a physical reminder that He was there with them and He was their God. This physical dwelling place called the tabernacle and the cloud and fire were shadows of the true Immanuel coming in the form of His Son as a baby. On that Christmas more than 2000 years ago, God made a way to be with us and to become the light for our dark world. For this reason, we celebrate that our God has come to dwell with us.  

Ponder: Why did God build a tabernacle for His people? How does the tabernacle demonstrate God’s love for His people? How does God dwell with us today?

Pray: Father, we thank You and praise You that You are a God who created us, who loves us, and who pursues us, so You can dwell with us. I stand in awe of the fact that You are my Immanuel who came as a baby so long ago to make a way for me to be with You always. May I cling to the hope that You are with me always and coming again to make all things new. Amen.

— Jamie Harms