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May 12 Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-7
“Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?”
2 Chronicles 6:18
This was not a question of doubt, or unbelief, but of astonishment. Solomon understood that the temple, the ark of the covenant, and the sacrifices offered to God in that typical age were but the reiteration of the promise God made to our fallen parents in the Garden of Eden. Solomon understood that God’s own Son would come to dwell with men upon the earth, that he might redeem and save a people for the praise of his own great and glorious name. Knowing this, Solomon cried out before God in utter astonishment and praise, — “Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?”
God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, came into this world and has dwelt with men, as a man among men, on the earth to work out the righteousness, redemption, and salvation of his people. “Will God” the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, “dwell on the earth?” Indeed, he has and he does. This is marvelous in our eyes! This is astonishing indeed (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus Christ is God; yet, he tabernacled upon the earth in our nature (John 1:1, 14).
He is high above all nations, great above all creatures, and exalted above all creation (Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:4-6). All the angels of God are called upon to worship him, because he is their Creator. All men, good and bad, are subject to him. He dwells, and always has dwelt, in the highest heaven. He “rideth upon the heavens of heavens” (Psalm 68:32-35). He is “over all God, blessed forever.” Therefore, he is called, “the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Yet, Christ Jesus is that One who came down from heaven to do his Father’s will; and he was in heaven while he was here upon the earth doing his Father’s will (John 3:13).
He never ceased to be God, though he dwelt upon the earth in human flesh! This is an amazing fact. — Jesus Christ, who is God, the Maker of all things, the Ruler of all things, dwelling in the highest heaven, “over all God, blessed forever,” came to dwell on the earth!
“Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” Yes! He most certainly will; and he certainly has! But why? — Why did God come to dwell upon the earth in human flesh? What was the purpose of the incarnation? Christ came into this world to fulfill the covenant he made with the Father on behalf of his elect before the world began (Hebrews 10:5-17). It was proposed to him in the everlasting covenant that he should assume our nature, dwell upon earth with mortal men as a man, bring in everlasting righteousness for his chosen, and put away the sins of his elect, by the satisfaction of justice by the sacrifice of himself. He agreed to it, and said, — “Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God” (Psalm 40:7-8). He came in human nature, he came into the world, he came to dwell among men to do his Father’s will, to obtain redemption for lost sinners.
This was proposed; and to this he agreed. Therefore, he is represented as one, from eternity, rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, in which he had agreed to dwell, where those people would dwell for whom he became a Surety and a Savior. And from everlasting, his delights were with the sons of men (Proverbs 8:22-31).
Remember what the Son of God came into the world to do. He came to work out the salvation of his people, to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to save lost sinners, lost in Adam, so lost that they could never find their way to God. Christ came to save sinners, the worst of sinners, the chief of sinners! He came and dwelt among men upon this earth to save us! And it is written of him, — “He shall not fail” (Isaiah 42:4). What did Christ come to do? Here are five things revealed in the Scriptures.
2. The Son of God came to redeem us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5), to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself!
3. Our Lord Jesus Christ came here to be made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
4. Christ Jesus the Lord came here to redeem unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).
5. Our blessed Savior came to bring many sons to glory (Hebrew 2:10).
When he had finished the work he came here to do, when he had laid down his life for us, “with his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us!” After his resurrection from the dead, he was received up into heaven in the sight of all the Apostles. There Stephen saw him standing at the right hand of God. There every believer, by faith, beholds him crowned with glory and honor, at the right hand of the Majesty on high. There he must sit and reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. Then, at the time of the restitution of all things, he will come again. — “To them that look for him, he shall appear the second time, without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).