“When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion.” (Psalm 114:1-2)
When we speak of salvation, we’re often prone to talk about what we’re saved from, and less prone to talk about what we’re saved to. Because of that, salvation can almost be spoken of in negative terms and not positive terms.
Psalm 114 opens up by referring to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt; but it does more than that. It speaks of what Israel were saved into.
According to the above verses, in coming out of Egypt, Judah became God’s sanctuary (literally: Holy thing), and Israel His dominion (His domain/realm/rule). But how did Judah become God’s sanctuary? By God dwelling in their midst. Israel, who were not at home in Egypt, found a home in Yahweh’s presence.
Israel were saved into the presence of God
The goal of salvation is for the sinner to be brought near to God in a way that His presence is known. Think about how all the gospels begin with this theme
- Matthew – Jesus is introduced as Immanuel (God with us).
- Mark – Isaiah’s prophecy is quickly spoken of – prepare the way of the Lord.
- Luke – two pregnancies, two songs all rejoicing that God has come to His people.
- John – the word has taken on flesh and tabernacled among us.
Then when the gospels climax at the cross, what’s the first major thing that happens when Jesus died? The curtain is torn in two from top to bottom: God’s presence is opened up by God Himself.
For too long the church has so been warned about looking for experiences beyond scripture that we’ve settled for a lack of experience which falls short of scripture. We need that heart of David that, when he was anointed as King, the first thing he did was get the Ark of the covenant back into Jerusalem, because the known presence of God among His people was not an optional extra.
Christian you’ve been saved to know, experience, walk in, and display the presence of God. The church is the new temple, a body of people who are carriers of His presence. May we walk in that knowledge, confident that this is the desire of our Heavenly Father:
Lord, it is Your presence that changes everything.
You tell us in Your word to seek Your presence continually,
And we say with Moses that unless Your presence goes before us
We do not want to go any further.
Thank You for the torn curtain.
Thank You for the permanent residing of Your Spirit
We pray for a fresh visitation of Your presence in our lives
For this is what we’ve been called to
In Jesus’ name, Amen