Day 40 of Lent, Psalm 46:
God wants to be with us? That feels a little strange. Why would God want to be with us? When someone we love or respect wants to spend time with us or be with us it makes us feel loved and valued. The God of the universe wants to be with us. He always has. Easter continues the story of this “withness.”
The Love Story
This love story began, well in the beginning — back in the garden, God walking with Adam and Eve. He was with them. To God, when He created them, they were very good, and He wanted to be with them. Of course, the intimacy ended when they turned. When we love someone, we want to be with them. When they are absent from us, we long for them…
Love Story continues
I imagine in the midst of the silence that followed the cross, there was some hope mingled along with questions. Maybe they remembered God’s faithful love and promises, and how He always spoke of this “withness.” Maybe they sang songs of hope.
Or maybe they recounted Psalms of His faithfulness. The last Psalm of Lent for me is Psalm 46. Even here it affirms God’s as with His people-
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Possibly in the silence, they remembered the desert story of Exodus. God gave instructions to Moses for a tabernacle, so God could dwell among them. He would be with them. He would go with them into the promised land.
Or, do you think they clung to the news of the angel visit prior to Jesus’ birth? The angel said Jesus would be called “Immanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” Jesus came near, to be “with.” And Jesus also made a promise that He would not leave them alone, but send His Spirit to be with them.
The price for us to be with Him
The price of my sin was great. The price Jesus paid was immense– paying for my sin so I could be with Him now and forever. This “withness” is unique and powerful. The God of the universe loves me! The God of the universe made a way for me to be with Him! His life poured out for me. My sin covered by His blood. Now I can be forgiven and whole, and intimacy can be restored. He, with me, living in me. This is what He planned and promised from long ago– fulfilled in the life, death, resurrection, and return of Christ.
He is with us! He is with us indeed!