Day 15

God’s Presence Leaves the Temple

from the The Presence of God reading plan


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

BY Erin Davis

When God’s people turned away from Him, He removed His presence from the temple.

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 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), 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” (Jeremiah 7:15).

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 willy nilly. 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 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).

Post Comments (32)

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

  1. Diane Scudder says:

    Our fellowship with Jesus can be lost, just as Peter’s fellowship with Jesus was lost when he denied the Lord. Praise God, Jesus will come looking for us, just as He did for Peter. I have found that so true in my life, and it keeps me away from sin. Because I love Him, I keep His commandments. I love His presence.

  2. MARTHA HIX says:

    ❤️

  3. Heidi says:

    It’s encouraging to remember that even when I am unfaithful, my God is not. Even when i fail, either intentionally through my own choices, or unintentionally due to just being a flawed human, HE will never leave or forsake and HE will still hold up His end of the deal to love and guide and forgive, with mercy complete for each new day. I mean, we have to remember, He supplies mercy because HE KNOWS WE ARE FLAWED AND HE KNOWS WE NEED IT! :) He doesn’t give it begrudgingly, but with kindness and joy that He can. So grateful that He has already said NOTHING and NOBODY can ever pluck me from His hands… and that “nobody” includes myself and my own dumb choices sometimes… I am His and nobody can mess THAT truth up.

    1. Ashley P. says:

      Thank you. I needed this reminder today. I’ve been struggling to feel God’s presence as I’ve been walking through a difficult season.

  4. Searching says:

    Every time, it hurts to read about the disobedience of the children of Israel. How could they forget His love, His power, His miracles and choose to go against Him? How can I forget the same God in my own life? And yet I do. Yes, Churchmouse, an indictment that stands throughout history for all (including me) that choose to disobey. I shudder to think where I would be without the awesome forgiving power of the Lord and His Son Jesus, the guidance of His Holy Spirit, and His abundance of grace and mercy. Praying daily that I will make choices that keep me walking in the path of His Will for me. After streaming the service from our church, I saw part of another church’s sermon yesterday and one statement/question stood out to me – When Christ returns, what will He find you (me) doing?

    Praying for the west coast and all affected by the horrendous fires, those on the southeast coast as another storm approaches and those in Louisiana still recovering from the last storm. And of course for all of us as we navigate the ongoing pandemic.

  5. Rebecca Woodall says:

    Love the truth here but let’s not overlook the fact that God’s holy presence will not dwell in a ‘dirty’ temple. Even as instructed in the New Testament He expects us to get our temples ‘cleaned up’ every day through the washing of the word and repentance.

    1. lisette grieco says:

      Totally agree!

    2. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Very true!!

  6. Kristen says:

    Yes! He is Holy, and our sin and His Presence can’t coexist. Only by Jesus can we come! May I give Him the reverence and honor our Holy God is due!

    There is a series by R. C Sproul on the Holiness of God. There are 6 messages. If you go to YouTube you can find all of them in a row. Here is a link: https://youtu.be/eIGAjoqBhhU
    It may take you to all, but I’m not sure. You can type in words: The Holiness of God R.C. Sproul, and that should work. I heard that Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, listened to these sermons. He was brought to his knees. I want to know about the Holiness of God and understand the depths of my sin. I think I need to know and acknowledge the depths to get how spectacular the joy of forgiveness and salvation are! This sermon by Tim Keller addresses this: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast-by-gospel-in-life/id352660924?i=1000490701507

  7. Churchmouse says:

    The Scripture readings today are an indictment against Israel. They are also an indictment against us. For just as the Israelites chose to disobey God, so too have we. Praise God for His mercy! Praise God for the cross and the resurrection! We have The Great Defender who stands in court alongside us. He proclaims that the penalty we owe has been paid in full. We go out in peace, forgiven and free. He goes with us. Indeed He never leaves us or forsakes us. We are in His presence forever. Here and for all eternity. There is no greater love.

    1. ChappyBeach Girl says:

      Amen!

  8. Brenda DiCicco says:

    This is just so good. So thankful Jesus has made a way for me to be near him. Amen.

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