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#847 – The Privilege of His Presence (Exodus 40:34–38)

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Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
(Exodus 40:34–38)

 

Imagine seeing and experiencing what these Israelites saw. God was visibly leading them with a cloud that settled on the tabernacle by day and then with a fire filling the tabernacle by night. So as the cloud moves, you move. As the cloud stops, you stop. As the fire moves, you move. As the fire stops, you stop. God is taking you, collectively as a people, by the hand and guiding you every step of the way. His glory is on display right in front of you at all times.

This theme of God dwelling with us is particularly relevant as we think about the coming of Jesus. We’re reminded of the words of the apostle John:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

 

Jesus is the Word made flesh, the One who came to dwell among us. In the original, the word for “dwelt” is an allusion to God’s dwelling among His people in the tabernacle. In other words, God’s dwelling is not merely a building. In Jesus, the glory of God has come to us.

We have the Holy Spirit of God, the glory of God, dwelling in us right now. He’s leading us, guiding us, and transforming us into the image of Christ.

We often think that we’re at a disadvantage because Jesus is no longer physically present with us. However, Jesus told His original disciples that it was to their “advantage” that He go away, for only then would He send them the “Helper,” or Holy Spirit (John 16:7). God has done so much more than give us a cloud or a fire to follow.

 

We have the Holy Spirit of God, the glory of God, dwelling inside us right now, and He’s leading us, guiding us, directing us, and transforming us into the image of Christ.

 

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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