Summary: Second in a series regarding the Presence of God. Much deeper study with many seeds.
The Presence Driven Church
“From Glory to Glory”
Last week we heard that God has a threefold Presence and that His desire is to have a Personal Presence with people. The first Adam had the Personal Presence of God, he was filled with the “Breath”, Holy Spirit’ of God and experienced God walking and talking to him in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:7And 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 being.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of God amongst the trees of the garden.
Here we see God “walking” or dwelling with Adam. Surely we must say that this was the ideal place for God to dwell with us.
Eden – The Ideal Dwelling Place – meaning constant state of delight – imagine this God is self-sustaining in all things – to dwell in His Presence would mean to have the a completeness only God could provide!
Man fell and lost the Personal Presence of God in the way God intended and was banished from the Garden. God who created man has ever since wanted to dwell with man hence the Tabernacle, Temple etc
Exodus 25:8 "Make for me a sanctuary that I may dwell within them.”
Israel was to be a dwelling or House for God.
Dwell, dwelt, dwelled, dwelling, and dwells means: to live as a resident; reside, to exist in a given place or state: dwell in joy, to fasten one’s attention, to speak or write at length
The Encyclopedia Judaica gives us a bit more insight into this “dwelling” meaning:
Presence Divine: The notion of the Divine Presence is expressed in the Bible in two different senses: 1) in the corporeal sense, i.e., the actual dwelling of God in His abode; 2) in the abstract sense, i.e., symbolic representation by means of calling or establishing His name upon the Sanctuary or the people.
The Bible does not say, "Make a Sanctuary for Me . . . so that I may dwell in it," but rather, "So that I may dwell among them [i.e., the People]." This is more than a nice expression. God is not primarily concerned with a temple of wood and stone; the purpose of the physical temple is to inspire us to make ourselves into temples for the God.
The reason for the Temple is “dwelling”. Adam knew that God dwelt in him because the Ruach was blown into his nose and he could hear it when he breathed. The future, however, is rooted in the past.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.
God’s presence, according to the ancient view, is confined to the Tabernacle Sanctuary and to other visible phenomena serving as the vehicles of God, such as the Ark and the cherubim or the cloud enveloping the Godhead in its movements. That the Tabernacle was considered an indicator for God’s presence in ancient Israel may be learned from the words of Nathan the prophet to David: "... I have been moving about in a Tabernacle and tent. All the time I was moving about among the Israelites..." (II Sam. 7:6–7). "I will establish My abode in your midst... and I will be moving about [i.e, be present] in your midst: I will be your God and you shall be my people" (Lev. 26:11–12). Exodus 25:8: "Let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them," and at the end of the inauguration of the Tabernacle in Exodus 29:45–46: "And I will dwell among the Israelites and I will be their God."
Before giving the Law, God explains that the Children of Israel were to be "A kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Their mission was to show the rest of society what it means to integrate God into a lifestyle. It was intended that the Children of Israel would accomplish their mission individually and collectively. It was God’s original intent that every single Jew should attain a level of understanding and integration equal to the High Priest on Yom Kippur as he entered the Holy of Holies to serve God and affect forgiveness. It was intended that this assumed sanctity would be self evident to all those who desired to see living examples of divinity translated into reality!
God made a stipulation with Israel while they were yet in Egypt that He would only bring them out from there on the understanding that they would build a Tabernacle for Him so that He might cause His Presence to dwell among them; as it says, And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them Exodus 29:46 on this condition: ’ That I may dwell among them.’ Now as soon as the Tabernacle was erected and the Shechinah descended and dwelt in their midst (all the conditions were fulfilled. Consequently it says, (AND IT CAME TO PASS), implying that what He had promised He performed). Exodus 40:34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Something that had never happened from the time the world was created until then took place on that day. From the time when the world was created until that moment the Shechinah had never dwelt in this lower world. It only did this from the moment when the Tabernacle was erected and thenceforward.