Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Ex 33:14)
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Ps 16:11)
It is a wonder we were created to relate to our Creator. We were designed for His presence in our life. His presence means life and light and peace. It is therefore the longing of every human soul that we find rest in the presence of Him who made us. God’s presence, unsurprisingly, is a great theme of the Bible.
Presence in the Garden
The LORD God was present in His garden. He walked in the cool of the day and spoke with Adam & Eve. There was abundant life in the Garden because God was there. This was symbolized in the tree of life.
Presence After the Fall
One curse of the Fall is that the Couple were driven from God’s presence. They would know death and decay. However, there remained small ways for God’s people to experience God’s presence: Remembering His Word, prayer, worship and the visitation of Angels. These were all ways in which God’s presence could be mediated. Occasionally God’s Spirit would come upon an individual for a special purpose. All of this was founded upon faith.
Presence Under the Old Covenant
When God rescued Israel from Egypt He was present with them, leading them by the pillar of cloud and fire. When the Tabernacle was built His glory rested upon the place. This was where God’s people could come to meet with the Lord. Much of the imagery (menorah and artwork of plant life) were reminiscent of the Garden. This was later reflected in the Temple.
Presence in the Incarnation
God’s people longed for God to be present with them. This longing was finally realized when God became flesh and dwelt among us. The Incarnation or Immanuel, “God with us.” Whoever met Jesus was in the very presence of God and had a taste of life (e.g. healings, etc).
Presence in the New Covenant
Jesus had said it was to the disciples’ advantage that He return to Heaven for He would send the Helper (Jn 16). They could only be with Jesus if He were with them. When the Helper came, Jesus would be with His followers 24/7/365 and wherever they went. He would come to dwell in their hearts by faith (Eph 4).
The Temple was no longer needed for God’s New Covenant people as Christ was our temple (Jn 2:19) who is building us into a spiritual temple (2 Pet 2:15). God’s presence goes wherever the Church goes! (This is why the early Christians forsook the physical Temple; believing its destruction as prophesied by Jesus was a judgement for Jewish unbelief).
Presence in the New Heavens and New Earth
As wonderful as the Spirit’s help is, we still pine for Jesus to return and physically be with His people. We await Jesus’ return and the New Heavens and the New Earth (a restored Eden) where Rev 21:3 says,
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.
Believers will spend eternity with the Lord! Come Lord Jesus, come!
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