July 16th, 2016| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


That was my breakfast view in Athens a couple of months ago: the Acropolis, a rocky outcrop overlooking the city and bearing several ancient temples—the Parthenon (on the left) and the Erechtheion (on the right).

Appropriately built on the highest point of the capital (Ἀκρόπολις, Acropolis, from ἄκρον, akron = “extremity”; and from πόλις, polis = “city”), such temples, found upon “acropolis-es” in many other Greek cities as well, were assumed to be conducive to communion with deity. The higher you go, the closer you get, I suppose.

It’s really the other way round. God desires to dwell with mankind and seeks to come to us, not we to him. He takes the initiative.

That is really amazing, for he alone is separate from the entire creation—his transcendent holiness.

“To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Isaiah 40:25


For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place ….”
Isaiah 57:15a

But this transcendent One who dwells on a “high and holy place” also dwells ….

“… with the contrite and lowly of spirit ….”
Isaiah 57:15b

Paradoxical: the absolutely separate One chooses to be with us—his immanence, his with-us-ness (the prefix, “-imm,” is derived from the Hebrew עם, ’m = “with”).

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son,
and they shall call His name ‘Immanuel,’”
which translated means, “God with us.”
Matthew 1:23

Throughout biblical history, God has sought to dwell with mankind. The motif of “sanctuary,” where God is with his people, runs as a bright thread through Scripture.

There is the Garden of Eden, where God is present, where cherubim are, where there is a tree of life, set in a garden with rivers, and with precious stones (Genesis 2:8–14; 3:8, 22, 24).

… the tree of life also in the midst of the garden ….
Genesis 2:9

Then there is the Tabernacle of Israel’s early days.

The cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day,
and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.
Exodus 40:38

The very word for tabernacle, משכן (mishkan) suggests dwelling, with שכן (shkn) = “to dwell.”

After that there was the Temple.

… the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
1 Kings 8:11

And now the “temple” is the Christian/the Church, whom/which God indwells through his Holy Spirit.

For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them.”
2 Corinthians 6:16

And one day, there will again be a garden, and rivers, and a tree of life, and God dwelling with his people.

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them,
and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.”

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal,
coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb ….
On either side of the river was the tree of life …,

“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
and there will no longer be any death;
there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;
the first things have passed away.”
And He who sits on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new.”
Revelation 21:3; 22:1–2; 21:4–5

Soon and very soon, we’re going to see the King!

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