God dwelt among us

Reading through the book of Exodus recently I marveled again at the story. After the Israelites were released from Egypt, and crossed the Red Sea they began to travel in the wilderness. God speaks to Moses and a tabernacle is set up for Him. After the tabernacle is anointed, Moses steps back and God steps in.

That’s what I kept marveling at: God dwelling there in their midst. All the tribes were camped around the tabernacle, and God was there in the middle of it all. Donkeys braying. Children crying. People living, eating and dying, going about their daily business. In the middle of it God dwelt.

During the day they saw a cloud, and at night they saw the fire. When it was time to move; the cloud would lift, the Israelites would pack up, and follow wherever God would lead. The part of the story that I kept trying to imagine was God dwelling among them.

Years later a disciple would write describing Jesus Christ, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

Did you catch that phrase dwelt among us? One translator says, “God moved into our neighborhood.” I love that! Jesus came and dwelt among us. For thirty plus years He lived in and among people. Donkeys braying, children crying. People living, eating and dying, going about their daily business. And in the middle of it all Jesus walked. It’s a remarkable thought – God wants to dwell among us.

When Jesus returned to heaven, the writers of Scripture were even more specific – “Christ in you, your hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27). Imagine! For the believer, God not only dwells among us, now He dwells in us. Now there’s a thought worth pondering…