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The God Who Longs to Be With Us

MONDAY October 2

The God Who Longs to Be With Us

Read Genesis 17:7, Genesis 26:3, and Genesis 28:15. What was the main focus of God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants in these verses?

In the Old Testament narrative, God continues to act according to His missionary nature in order to fulfill His purposes. For instance, after the Flood the people of Babel decided to gather in one place to build a city and a tower that would reach to the heavens. God intervened, confusing their language with the goal to scatter them around the world (Gen. 11:1–9). He then enlarged His mission, calling Abram (who later became Abraham) to be a channel of His blessings to the whole world (Gen. 12:1–3). God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants were multifold, but one emerges above all. Several times God basically declared to them: “I will be [your] God.” “I will be with you.” “I am with you” (see Gen. 17:7, 8; Gen. 26:3, NKJV; Gen. 28:15, NKJV).

As history goes on, Joseph ends up in Egypt, but as an instrument of salvation to God’s people. In every step of Joseph’s experience—even in the most difficult moments of his life—the Bible affirms that “the Lord was with” him (Gen. 39:2, 21, 23). Generations later, in the fulfillment of His mission, God then sent Moses to Pharaoh as the deliverer of His people from Egyptian slavery. During Moses’ “commissioning,” God said to him: “I will certainly be with you” (Exod. 3:12, NKJV). Time after time, Yahweh confirmed His deep desire to be with His people.

Read Exodus 29:43, 45. What was one of the main purposes of the Old Testament sanctuary?

God decided to be with His children in a different way. He confirmed to Moses His longing to dwell among the children of Israel in the building of the tabernacle and the establishment of a very intentional and purposeful system that would point to the ultimate instrument of His mission: Jesus Christ. “The sacrificial offerings, and the priesthood of the Jewish system, were instituted to represent the death and mediatorial work of Christ. All those ceremonies had no meaning, and no virtue, only as they related to Christ.”—Ellen G. White, Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath, December 17, 1872.

What are ways that you experience God’s presence in your life?

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