Where God Dwells
What we see in Eden is God preparing a home that he intended to dwell in with his holy people. But of course, we know what happens in Eden. His people are no longer holy. They are sinful and so they are exiled from that home because they cannot dwell in God’s presence.
But the good news of the Bible is that God doesn’t give up on humanity. He continues to pursue us and so he calls a new people to himself, beginning with Abraham. And what does he do when this people, a nation strong, come out of Egypt? He gives them instructions for building a tabernacle because though they're out in the wilderness, he intends to dwell with them.
He came to do the work necessary to purify us, to make us holy.
Isn’t this amazing, that God actually wants to dwell among his people? So they build the Tabernacle and the glory of God comes down and fills the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. And then once his people are no longer living in tents, he actually comes down to dwell in the more permanent temple that was built in Jerusalem.
But there was a problem. There was a problem of access. Only the high priest could enter into the presence of God once a year in the Holy of Holies. God has always intended to dwell with his people in a much more expansive way than that.
God with Us
When we get to John in the Gospels, John writes that the word became flesh and dwelt among us. Although the word he’s really using there, he’s saying he word became flesh and tabernacled among us. In the person of Jesus Christ, God came to dwell among his people. Why?
He came to do the work necessary to purify us, to make us holy. Why? So that we might live in his presence. That’s where the whole story of the Bible is headed. It’s headed toward a new home where God intends to dwell with his people. We read about it in Revelation 21. He says, “I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God.” He says “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.”
This is what the Bible story has been driving toward ever since Adam and Eve were exiled out of Eden. This is the new home in which he intends to dwell with us. It says here in Revelation 21 that there is no temple in this city. The lamb is its temple.
This home we’re going to enjoy with him is going to be far better than Eden where God’s presence was known. We’re going to see him face to face. There will be no chance of being exiled out of this home. Instead, here’s this beautiful promise: “He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God will be with them as their God.”
That’s the home that we’re headed for. That’s the home that’s going to be even better than the one Adam and Eve enjoyed in Eden.
From the very beginning, Eden was not meant to be static; it was headed somewhere.
When we enter this Eden 2.0, we’ll begin to experience all that God has intended for his people all along.
No human marriage, no matter how good, can bear the weight of our expectations.