God’s Presence Leaves the Temple

Open Your Bible

Jeremiah 7:1-15, Jeremiah 7:21-31, 2 Chronicles 7:19-21, Ezekiel 10:1-22, Haggai 2:6-9

Though the pages of Scripture contain many tragedies, the ones that stop my heart involve the loss of God’s presence. I think of Mary, who carried her Savior inside her womb, who likely studied the curve of His profile daily, who watched Him as He performed miracles. Then I try to imagine her at the foot of the cross. How could she find the strength to keep breathing when she pictured a future without Him near?

I think of the disciples, who’d physically walked and talked with Jesus and then had to wrap their minds around the fact that His body now lay lifeless in a tomb, shrouded in darkness. After they’d journeyed beside Jesus, how could they take a single step without Him?

And I think of the Israelites, who experienced God’s presence as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21), who then stared with wide-eyed wonder as His glory filled the temple (1Kings 8:11).

Imagine the gut punch of hearing God’s righteous judgment on the sins of His people: “Has this house, which bears my name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I have seen it too” (Jeremiah 7:11). I want to hold my breath as He declares: “I will banish you from my presence” (v.15).

My heart aches when I read: “I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for my name I will banish from my presence” (2Chronicles 7:20). As I read these passages describing the loss of God’s presence, David’s prayer reflexively bubbles up: “Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11).

When panic about the loss of God’s presence makes our palms start to sweat, we need only to open our Bibles again. God doesn’t give and take His presence away randomly. True, because God is holy, our sin and God’s presence cannot co-exist. But let’s pause and remember the miracle of the cross: Because of Christ’s death, we are welcomed into God’s presence wearing His righteousness—not our own failed attempts to achieve it.

Consider God’s presence with renewed wonder today, friend. Thank Jesus again that He has made a way for you to be near Him. If you are a follower of Christ, you need not waste a single nanosecond worrying that you will be forced to live outside His presence again. Look no further than the gospel; because of Jesus, we can now experience the joy and eternal pleasures in our Creator God’s presence (Psalm 16:11).

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46 thoughts on "God’s Presence Leaves the Temple"

  1. Jade Gaines says:

    The house of the Lord will be amazing to experience! I can feel the warmth, the light, the glory that it exudes when I think of it! I welcome in God’s presence and walk with Him daily! He is my home and my sanctuary. We built our own kingdom together on this earth. Praise His holy name

  2. Sophia Ayres says:

    That last verse at the end of this devotion is Psalm 16:11. It immediately reminded me of the song, “Satisfy” by Rivers and Robots. It is wonderful cap to remembering that God’s presence is the only thing that satisfies our hearts and is thus worth seeking.

  3. Karen Breaux says:

  4. Kimberly Z says:

    Happy Monday ladies! Today has been a busy day. I always try come on in the mornings but often fall short. It’s heavy for me to remember that sin and God cannot exist together. Trying to do my best all the time can be exhausting but knowing we also have God forgives is important. @TAYLOR – praying for your knee to heal! As a radiation therapist I totally know how it feels to be on your feet all day. A hurting body just won’t do. Praying you find peace in ending your relationship. @MICHELLE PATIRE – thanks for thinking of me ❤️. Praying for every one of you today .

  5. Ginny Krawczynski says:

    I lived without the Lords presence for awhile. Me just me. It wasn’t pretty! I am so thankful because as long as He is near I am not left to my own understanding, knowledge , decisions, doings….He is my very present help!!!!!!❤️

  6. Victoria E says:

    What a hard hitting set of readings. I could not imagine the cherubim, I’ll have to see if I can find an artists’s rendition. Thank you Rhonda for asking for the prayer requests on fb, and thank you to everyone who is praying for my GI issues. Had a restless night last night from stomach pain and the 2 year sleep regression, I am hopeful and praying for better rest tonight. Praise God he does not ever leave us nor forsake us. Taylor- I am praying for you, like many here I too am guilty of putting other things first before God even though I don’t actively want to.

    1. Nikki Buttery says:

      Hi Victoria praying for your stomach. Have you tried drinking warm lemon water in the mornings right when you wake up? I had GI problems too and that helped me

  7. Taylor Graves says:

    These readings couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Just yesterday at church the Pastor was talking about obeying God’s commands. I was confused and so I asked a few people in my family that are more well versed in the Bible. Something that I was told was that following God’s commands is not what makes us holy, but they put us on the right path to get closer to God and get to know Jesus because it is only through Him that we are redeemed and holy. I just feel like that goes hand in hand with what we read today. God wants to be present in our lives and have a relationship with us. All He asks is that we obey Him so that we CAN have that relationship. Our responsibilities are to follow His commands so that we can grow closer to Christ who, because of His sacrifice, not only makes us holy but also allows us to enjoy the wonders of God’s presence all the time. After the conversation with my family member and reading this I want to try even harder to obey God’s commands and put Him first instead of my own want to handle the things in my life. I ask for prayers today for a family member who has lost their way from God. He has not been very receptive with me going back to church and mending my faith. He has slightly insulted me when I talked about God a few times. He used to believe but has strayed away from his faith and I just ask for prayers that he find his way back. I pray every day for him because it truly breaks my heart.
    @ Martha Hix I’m praying for a safe trip for you! @ Laura Dianne I’m so happy to hear that you have a healthy grandchild and that your daughter is doing well after labor ❤️ @Taylor I am praying not only for your knee to feel better but also that God brings you peace after ending your relationship and continues to guide you where you need to be and to the person you need to be with @Searching I am praying God gives you the wisdom you need during this time.

    I am always praying for you wonderful women. I hope you all had a great start to your week! ❤️❤️