Welcome to the fourth devotional in this Advent series on “God With Us.” We’ve seen how God always intended to live in close proximity with His people, and that, even when they walked away from God, the Lord has never abandoned His people.
Have you ever struggled with a disobedient child and experienced the child pushing you away? Did that child reject your best efforts and prefer to stomp off to the isolation of his or her room? Too often, that child was me. Growing up in our home, I managed to spoil most every family photo with a pout. I preferred to sulk and refused to cooperate, but my parents never threw up their hands nor abandoned me.
Imagine how the Lord felt after rescuing His people from Egypt. He performed multiple miracles like plagues of lice, dust and gnats, He parted the Red Sea, and He provided His children with water and food in a wilderness – only to see His people rebel against Him. Yet, even then He did not withdraw His presence. In Exodus 13:21, we see Him continuing to accompany them in the desert, guiding them during the day with a pillar of cloud and providing light at night with a pillar of fire. He remained “with them” there for forty years.
Read Psalm 139:7-10 aloud and offer thanks to the Lord Immanuel who remains at our side no matter what lengths we go to in order to avoid Him.