The Presence of God


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Purpose: To make people aware of God’s desire to be with His people

The Presence of God 

What does it mean to you that God is with you?

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 6, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – No suggestions


  1. Jesus promised,

    20b “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28.20b)

    1. You do not go through life alone.
    2. You have the Creator of the universe by your side.
  2. How does that affect you? 
    1. Please cherish this promise from Jesus.
    2. Please know of His love for you.


  1. Exodus 33 – The Presence of God Among His People

    3 “Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” 4 And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments (Exo 33.3–4).

    1. Then in verse 14,
      1. as Moses interceded for Israel,
      2. the Lord promised to send His presence,

        14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exo 33.14).
    2. Man’s sin and God’s holiness present a problem.
      1. God loves His people.
      2. Yet, man violates the will of God.
        1. God still loves His people, and
        2. He wants to be with them!
  2. Exodus 40.34–35 – The Presence of God in the Tabernacle

    34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exo 40.34–35).

    1. While Israel wandered the wilderness,
    2. God filled the tabernacle.
      1. When the cloud lifted up and moved,
      2. Israel followed.
        1. When the cloud settled above the tabernacle,
        2. Israel stayed in that location.
    3. Therefore, their lives were all about the Lord’s presence!
      1. If Jesus is with us even until the end of the age,
      2. should not our lives also be all about the Lord’s presence?
  3. First Samuel 4 – The Presence of God Departed from Israel 
    1. During the days of Eli the high priest,
    2. Israel brought the Ark of the Covenant into battle with the Philistines.
      1. According to verse 11, Israel lost the battle, and
      2. the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant.
        1. Verse 18 says that when Eli heard what happened to the Ark,
        2. he fell back in shock, and
          1. broke his neck, because
          2. he was old and heavy.
        3. Verse 22 reveals that when his daughter-in-law heard about the Ark,
          1. she went into labor, and
          2. she understood the significance of the captured Ark,

            22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured” (1Sa 4.22).
  4. First Kings 8.10–11– The Presence of God in Solomon’s Temple

    10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord (1Ki 8.10–11).
  5. The Book of Ezekiel – The Presence of God Leaves the Temple 
    1. Ezekiel 8 shows something interesting.
      1. Note the way the Lord transported the prophet,
      2. then note where the Lord took the prophet, and
        1. what the prophet saw there,

          3 He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my hair; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy. 4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the plain (Eze 8.3–4).
        2. At the temple, the Lord showed Ezekiel both
          1. an image of jealousy, an idol that provoked God’s jealousy, and
          2. the glory of the God of Israel.
            1. An idol was present because
            2. the children of Israel had started to worship idols.
              1. Yet, the Lord did not leave immediately,
              2. waiting for Israel to repent.
    2. Ezekiel 9 then shows movement of the glory of God, but
      1. His presence does not leave entirely.
      2. However, the point is the departure has started,

        3a Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple… (Eze 9.3a).
    3. Ezekiel 10 shows the glory of God
      1. going back to the cherubim, the place of the mercy seat, and
      2. getting the cherubim, which then fly to the door,

        18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them (Eze 10.18–19).
    4. Ezekiel 11 shows even more movement of the Lord from His temple,

      22 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city (Eze 11.22–23).
    5. Eventually, the Lord left and
      1. He sent the Babylonians in His place,
      2. who entered the Land of Canaan, Jerusalem, and the temple, and
        1. ransacked it all,
        2. leveling the temple.
    6. Think on these two things:
      1. First, the Lord did not want to go.
      2. Second, He gave His people every opportunity to repent.
  6. The Presence of God Now 
    1. Matthew 1 shows that when the Lord sent an angel to Joseph
      1. before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth,
      2. that the angel revealed the spiritual name of the child,

        23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us” (Matt 1.23).
    2. Listen to John 1,

      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and [God was the Word] (John 1.1).

      14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1.14).

    3. After Jesus died, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven,
      1. we, our bodies, became the temple of God,
      2. meaning that the Presence of God dwells in us,

        11 If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (Rom 8.9–11).
    4. Ephesians 2 explains that the church is the temple,

      19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2.19–22).


  1. What prompted this lesson? 
    1. Last Lord’s Day in my Bible class
    2. someone ask if the Holy Spirit departs from us every time we sin.
      1. Does the Spirit constantly leave and return?
      2. For some of us that would the Spirit would be quite busy traveling.
  2. First John 1, along with what I showed you from the Book of Ezekiel, 
    1. shows the way it is with the Lord,
    2. that we have a huge benefit to walking with Him,

      7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jo 1.7–9).
  3. However, if we seek to take advantage of that, 
    1. we are headed for trouble.
    2. Think of how you treat people
      1. whom you would characterize as always trying to do right toward you.
      2. Then they do something wrong.
        1. Do you write them off right on the spot?
        2. No, you are eager to forget about it.
          1. Yet, if they see your generosity and
          2. start to take advantage of it,
            1. you probably harden your heart toward them,
            2. although you still want to give them a chance.
              1. If they keep it up,
              2. you will cut them off.
    3. So it is with the Lord.