EXODUS 29: GOD WANTS TO DWELL WITH HIS PEOPLE
46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. (Exodus 29:46, NIV)
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)
When God says, "I will dwell with you, my presence will go with you, I will give you rest," he's speaking to nomads, homeless Israel.
One vital way we often miss the point of the Exodus story is when there is too much emphasis placed on Israel getting the "Promised Land." Yes, it's important, but listen to what is saying: "I want to dwell with you."
Isn't anywhere home if God is dwelling with us? Ancient ideas of gods were parochial. The gods did not travel far from land. Here God is saying in effect, "Wherever you go, my presence travels with you."
- When you travel, do you feel God has only answered your prayer for safety when you arrive back home?
- Do you believe that wherever you go, God is already there?
- When you go on a mission trip, do you believe you are "taking God," because that's the erroneous language we often use for a world God made, we're tiny in, and He's already arrived wherever we go.
Lord, give us awareness that you go with us when we travel, when we arrive home, wherever we go. You never leave us, but it seems at times we leave you in heart, mind, spirit, and even physically in body we think we are far from you at times. Speak to our hearts and show us how near you are, like a friend Terry Smith prayed many times over me, "You are closer than the blood in our veins.
Watch your language today! Watch how you use language that assumes or communicates that God is somewhere exclusively, as in your home, your church meeting place or sanctuary. Those places have sacred meaning to us, but God wants to dwell where we are. How do live, speak, and act in such a way that we invite and become more aware of God's presence wherever we go?
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.