Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Behold Your God!

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matt. 1:21-23

The birth of Christ… the coming of a Savior to deliver us from the bondage of sin… what a wonderful truth to celebrate and remember at Christmas!  And how fascinating to think that God’s purpose in all of this is to restore people to fellowship with Him… the mystery of the incarnation… God coming to dwell in human flesh… His ultimate desire to dwell eternally in the midst of His People and be their God!

Reading through the Old Testament prophets, I have been amazed to notice once again the emphasis upon God’s desire to dwell with His people!  Of course, the emphasis in the Old Testament is upon the nation of Israel, and they certainly have a special place in God’s redemptive plan, but how amazing to think that we, too, Gentiles who are in Christ, are welcomed into the same kind of relationship with God and will dwell eternally with Him in perfect fellowship because of the work of Christ that has made us co-heirs and fellow citizens of His Kingdom!

Below are some key passages from the Old Testament that emphasize the amazing truth of God dwelling with His people, fulfilled in the coming of Christ:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken…. Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!  Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.   
Is. 40:5, 9-11

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion.  Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem.  The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 
Is. 52:7-10

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 
Jer. 33:14-15

I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.  I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy.  I will feed them in justice…. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.  And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them.  I am the Lord; I have spoken.
Ez. 34:15-16, 23-24

 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them.  And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 
Ez. 37:26-27

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. 
Dan. 7:13-14

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else…So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain. 
Joel 2:27; 3:17a
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.  Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.  And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.  And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. 
Micah 5:2-5a

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  Hab. 2:14

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!  Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies.  The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. 
Zeph. 3:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.”  
Zech.  2:10-11

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 
Zech. 9:9-10

Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.   On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward…. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him…. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one. 
 Zech. 14:3-5, 9

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings…. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 
Mal. 4:2, 5

 God’s coming to earth in human flesh the first time was just the beginning.  We look forward to the day when He will come again to reign on the earth, and so we shall forever be with the Lord in perfect harmony and joy! 

 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 
Rev. 21:1-3

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Sarah! I love all the Scripture reminding us that we serve a God Who is with us!