I. GOD'S TABERNACLE WITH MEN REMINDS US OF THE UNIVERSAL PRESENCE OF THE DEITY UPON EARTH THROUGHOUT ALL TIME.
II. AND OF HIS SPECIAL AND CONGENIAL PRESENCE AMONG AND WITH HIS OWN PEOPLE.
III. AND OF HIS GRACIOUS PURPOSE TO REVEAL UNTO THEM HIS OWN CHARACTER AND WILL.
IV. AND OF HIS CONSTANT WILLINGNESS TO RECEIVE THEIR WORSHIP AND HOMAGE.
V. AND OF HIS DESIRE TO MAINTAIN CLOSE AND UNBROKEN RELATIONS OF CORDIALITY AND KINDNESS WITH HIS PEOPLE.
APPLICATION. The privilege of fellowship with God should be reverently cherished, prized, and cultivated. The means and occasions of such fellowship should not be mistaken for the fellowship itself. The truest dignity and sacredness of this earthly life consists in the opportunity it offers of communion with the unseen but ever-present God and Savior. The strongest attraction of the life to come lies in the prospect of a closer approach to God, a more uninterrupted fellowship with God, and a nearer assimilation to his perfect and glorious character. - T.
Take thee one stick.I. THE SAD CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL AT THE TIME THE PROPHET WROTE. It was that of separation and of estrangement. Such a condition was —
1. Contrary to nature.
2. Displeasing to God.
3. Disastrous to themselves.That and other sin had reduced them to a condition of national bankruptcy, physical serfdom, social misery, and moral degradation.
II. THE HAPPY CONDITION TO WHICH THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WERE ABOUT TO BE RESTORED. That of unity, harmony, and oneness. Union in a Christian Church is a condition greatly to be desiderated, and earnestly to be sought by all its members.
1. It is of great importance to the Church itself.
2. It is an immense advantage to the surrounding community.
3. It is well pleasing and highly honouring to God.
III. THE AGENCY BY WHICH THIS DELIGHTFUL CHANGE WAS TO BE EFFECTED.
1. He breathed into them a principle of spiritual life.
2. He sent them wise advisers and earnest intercessors.
3. He visited them with a sore trial. The Babylonish captivity. Common suffering often awakens common sympathy, and common sorrow begets mutual interest.
4. He appointed them a common work. The rebuilding of the city and temple of Jerusalem. A common service for Christ is still promotive of union among Christians.
5. He makes His residence in their midst (ver. 27). Christ in the midst of a Church acts like a magnet in the midst of steel particles: He attracts all to Himself. As Christians are enabled to love Christ and approach Christ, so will they love one another and approach one another.
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