Behold! Home

Behold! Home

Behold! Home.

There are some individual words and short phrases in Scripture that need to be highlighted as they are read, words or phrases that are significant or point to something meaningful. Some phrases might be: Fear not. Here I am. Woe to you. One another.   And maybe some words are: AmenHallelujahBlessedAbba. Come.  The word Behold! is one of those significant words, an exclamation that is intended to get our attention. Listen, people, this is something you need to hear! Behold says to the audience, Look at this and take note! You would be wise to remember these words and think about them! Careful now, don’t be deaf to what I am about to say! Stop what you’re doing and listen up! As the Eastern Orthodox Christians say before they read the Gospel in the Liturgy… Attend! The following verse begins with Behold! So the words that follow must be important.

Behold! God’s home is now among people! He will live with them and encamp with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will pitch His tent with His people, He will tabernacle with them as their God.”  (Rev. 21:3).

To true believers, the greatest blessing imaginable is God’s personal presence with them. For God to dwell with His people offers the ultimate spiritual fulfillment and satisfaction. Throughout Scripture, God has promised to live in His people’s presence, to be in their midst. In the Hebrew Bible, the Lord would make promises like these:

Leviticus 26:11-12“I will set my tabernacle, my dwelling place, among you; I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people.” 

Exodus 25:8“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may swell among them.” 

Isaiah 7:14 = “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel, God-with-us.” 

And the prophets in the Old Testament would exclaim:

Isaiah 12:6 “Cry out and shout, O inhabitants of Zion, the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.”

Jeremiah 14:9Why should you be like a man astonished, like a mighty one who cannot save? Yet you, O lord, are in our midst, and we are called by your name; Do not leave us!”

Ezekiel 43:7“This is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.” 

Ezekiel 37:27-28“My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” 

Ezekiel 48:35“The four sides of the city measure a total of nearly six miles. From now on, the name of the city will be Yahweh-shammah, ‘The Lord-is-there.” 

Zephaniah 3:15, 17“The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more; The Lord your God in your midst, the mighty warrior, will save.” 

Zechariah 2:10-11“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ says the Lord. Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become my people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know tha the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.” 

These words were indeed fulfilled once in the Incarnation of Jesus, who is Immanuel, God-with-us. And these words will also be fulfilled in the messianic age, as described above in Revelation 21:3, when God will fully and intimately and eternally dwell with His people. What’s better… to have someone you love and long for live in the general neighborhood, or to have that person move in and share a house with you? This will be the joy of heaven, to have the unspeakable thrill, honor and satisfaction of having the Lord of the Universe, the author of love and life, set up home with us!

The earthly tabernacle with Moses and the Jews in the wilderness was just a fleeting picture, a shadow of what will be found in the New Jerusalem. God was present in the earthly tabernacle, and in the Temple in Jerusalem. But when God sets up His home in the messianic age at the End of time, He will be fully present in a new heaven and a new earth, dwelling with us His people. In fact, He Himself will be the new Temple (Rev. 21:22). He will be fully present with us for all eternity. What could be better than that? To see Jesus face-to-face and God Almighty spirit-to-spirit is more than one can imagine. But that’s what we can look forward to, when God makes His dwelling with us.