God is present everywhere. This would mean that everyone lives in God’s presence to some degree. There is the outer limit where it is sometimes described as cast from God’s presence, where there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. There was the presence of God exhibited in the nation of Israel. Israel had a special relationship with God and he was their national God. That’s why Jonah left Israel to ‘escape’ God, even though he knew that God was the God of the heavens and sea. Jerusalem was understood to be God’s holy city, the temple was God’s house, and the Holy of Holies was God’s room. The presence of God increased as you went through these concentric domains. Who then lives in God’s presence? The answer is everyone and no-one. The path to a deeper experience of God is laid out below.
A psalm of David.
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
- How can you tell that the temple has not yet been built?
- What will happen to ‘he who does these thing’?
- Describe in your own words the person who can enter God’s presence?
- How have things changed for Christians?
- Why live in heaven (God’s presence), if hell is easier to get to (away from God’s presence)?
I’ve been reading a book by Rob Bell and I am not impressed. His logic is poor and he argues from ‘incredulity’, which is a poor way to argue. However, he raises some interesting questions. Get a copy of Love Wins and write in the margins the answers to Rob Bell’s many questions.