December 25 - God in Our Midst
The covenant the Lord made with Israel is simple: that He be their God and they be His people, and that He will be with them and in their midst. The ultimate goal is that God’s children obey His commands and statutes so that they may walk with God and that God’s presence will be with them. The Lord was jealous about this relationship and guarded with His wrath when His children break away from this relationship.
Although Jerusalem had been unfaithful, God intended to dwell in their midst and the city shall be called the faithful city and the mountain of the Lord, the holy mountain. When God is really the King, people will live together in harmony and peace. He will gather all the exiles from all corners of the earth back to the city to be His people and He will be their God. There shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. They shall be a blessing for the other peoples. This is the promise of God to Abraham that all the families of the earth shall be blessed because of his unique relationship with God.
God is going to bring good to His children and His house, but on one condition: “Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.” In order to be blessed to bless others, God’s children must treat one another rightfully and truthfully. If there is no peace among the brothers, how can the non-brothers be blessed? If Christians do not love one another, how can those outside of the household of God see true and sacrificial love?
Only when we relate to God and to one another according to truth and peace, our religious observances such as Easter and Christmas, will not mean much. Instead of being the seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts, it will become times of doom and gloom. We must seek the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord. Let us go ourselves and bring others to go along with us. Then the nations will come and seek the Lord in Jerusalem for His favor. They would all say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
Is your own household filled with God’s presence? Are you and your family members doing anything to drive away God’s presence? The same holds true for your church, your spiritual family as well. If you cannot sense the presence of God, there must be something wrong. God is a jealous God and if we sin in any way, He will turn away quickly. Be a blessing to others, and have God in your midst.
Ps 146:1-10 Zech 8:1-23 Rev 16:1-21 Prov 30:29-31