Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
I will reside among the Israelites, and I will be their God, and they will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out from the land of Egypt, so that I may reside among them. I am the Lord their God. Exodus 29.45-46
I will reside among them. Earlier in this chapter, God tells Moses how to consecrate or set apart Aaron and his sons to serve him as priests. God gives detailed instructions on how and when that is to be done. Not only were Aaron and his sons to be consecrated, but the tent of meeting and the altar were also to be consecrated and set apart as holy. Why did this have to be done and in such detail? Because God is holy. He resided among them while they were faithful to the instructions that they had been given. Today, God abides within us. Jesus makes this possible through his sacrifice on the cross. In John 14.23 Jesus tells us that if we love him, we will obey his words. Then, something amazing happens! Jesus and the Father will come and live with us. But, just as in the days of the Israelites, God has left instructions in his word as to how that is made possible. I cannot approach God in his holiness on my own merit. You see, I had no merit within myself for I had sinned. However, Jesus makes it possible if I will obey him. His words are found in God’s word. I must obey him. Then, I can know that God is my God and he lives with me.