Summary: From the beginning, God has desired to dwell with man.
A PLACE FOR GOD TO DWELL
Gen.2: 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
1 Cor. 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
From the earliest of times, it has been the desire of God to dwell with mankind. He created man as a companion, a son to Him; to spend time with him. How marvelous it must have been, how joyful to the heart of both the creator and Adam, to walk together in the cool of the day. Imagine the wonders God must have shared with Adam; the things they must have talked about! Mankind was holy, belonging only to God. God was man’s and man was God’s. Adam was created in the image of God. It was beautiful. It was perfect.
UNTIL SIN CAME INTO THE WORLD.
When man sinned, the holy communion God had shared with man was cut off. The relationship Adam had with the Holy God ended. How heartbreaking it must have been for God to see His beloved creation fall into sin.
Sin is a cursed thing. It is intolerable to the character of God. It is a filthy plague, a disease that ends in death, and cuts us off from the presence of God. Do not underestimate the wickedness of sin. One solitary sin, one violation of God’s holy command changed the pure, holy, sinless nature of man into something carnal, fleshly, sinful.
The Prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Paul said in Romans 3: 11, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:17 And the way of peace have they not known:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Because of the terrible nature of sin, mankind could no longer dwell in the presence of God, and God could no longer dwell with man.
Now I want to make a point here. John said, No man hath seen God at any time. Yet, throughout the Old Testament, men made the claim of having seen God. We know Adam walked with God. Abraham sat down to dinner with God. Jacob wrestled with God, and saw His face. The elders of Israel saw God sitting on His throne. Isaiah saw The Lord, high and lifted up. And yet John said no man has seen God at any time. Jesus said God is a spirit. He also said spirits do not have flesh and blood.
Speaking of Jesus, Col. 1:15 says, Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.