Revelation 21:2-4 (NIV)
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Our Verse of the Day always stirs my imagination and deepens my longing for that Glorious Day! I think of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians as he quoted the Prophet Isaiah:
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV)
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived,” (Citing Isaiah 64:4) — the things God has prepared for those who love Him — these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
Indeed, there are things that God has revealed to us by His Spirit. Yes, there is a day that awaits the people of God … that glorious day when Jesus returns to “take” us to be with Him so that we may be with Him in the place He has prepared for us!
John 14:1-4 (NIV)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
And what captures my thoughts is this promise: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.” So, I searched the scriptures to find additional references to this promise of God to dwell among His people. Here are a few for your consideration:
Exodus 29:44-46 (NIV)
“So, I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 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.
2 Samuel 7:23-24 (NIV) – See also 1 Chronicles 17:22
And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for Himself, and to make a name for Himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
Jeremiah 24:6-7 (NIV)
My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV)
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Ezekiel 11:19-20 (NIV)
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 34:23-24 (NIV)
I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and He will tend them; He will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.
As I read through the prophecies of Ezekiel, my heart trembled and I just had to smile at these words he wrote under inspiration. Look at the language he used … the message. I can only imagine the connection and confirmation that the Apostle John felt as he wrote The Book of Revelation….
Ezekiel 37:22-28 (NIV)
I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”
It is clear to me that God has always desired to dwell with His people … the living beings He created for fellowship with Him. We are the object of His great love and affection! Over and over, He has said: “I will be their God, and they will be my people.” This is the created order! The first living beings, Adam and Eve, communed with the Lord until their transgression … when sin breached their holiness and separated them from God. Yet, God has passionately pursued His people ever since! God has continued through the millennia of human history to reveal Himself and His holiness to His people. In these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe. (Cf. Hebrews 1:1-3) It is ONLY in Christ Jesus, through the atonement of His blood, that we are restored to holiness and fellowship with the Father. And I believe it is in Jesus that Father God makes His dwelling place among us both now and forever….
Revelation 21:5-6 (NIV)
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
My friends, these ancient prophetic words are trustworthy and true! Yes, the Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent His angel to show His servants the things that must soon take place. (Cf. Revelation 22:6) Let us share with the world: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.” (Cf. Isaiah 55:1-3)
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! ~ Revelation 22:20