Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“O my people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me.”
From a sermon by Preacher Clark at Grandma’s house, mid to late 1970.
Gary’s Reel 1, CD-3 Track 2
God blessed Israel beyond what anyone could have hoped for in the ancient world, and in the end, He was so unwelcome among His own people that when He sent messengers to them, His messengers were ridiculed, abused, and even killed. In the end, and with great sorrow, He withdrew Himself from Israel and let them have their own way without Him. After showing for centuries a patience towards His people that only He possesses, God lamented, “I will go and return to my place until they acknowledge their offence and seek my face.” Consequently, the Jews became the most hated and abused people in the history of the planet. Any book written on the history of civilization that is of any significance will at least mention the long, sad tale of Israel’s persecution and suffering throughout the millennia, in whatever country the Jews have lived.
It is not one of the laws of physics that God’s presence has to be among us, either. As Preacher Clark said in that Sunday afternoon sermon, “If you don’t appreciate the presence of God, He’ll get out.”
May God grant to us the grace to appreciate Him and the presence of His Spirit. When Israel built the golden calf at Mount Sinai, there was the possibility that God might not go with Israel into the Land of Promise. Realizing this, Moses begged God, “If your presence does not go, do not send us up there” (Ex. 33:15). This is how every wise man feels. If God’s presence is not in a place, wise men are not interested in being there either.