Jamestown Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Chapter 3: God's Greatest Desire
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Chapter 3: God's Greatest Desire
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With the entrance of Sin through the fall of the human pair The Godhead put into play the first step of the plan of Salvation. Isolate the Human Race from the Tree of Life to remove from them the Conditional Immortality given in Creation. You can read that in the 22nd verse of Chapter 3 in Genesis. This is what it says:

“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:…” Verse 23 and 24 follows:

“Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Try to imagine Adam and Eve bringing their children to the gate of the Garden to show them where they used to live and telling them the story of what they “used” to have. Telling them how they used to walk and talk with their Creator in the Garden in the Cool of the Day and spent the hours of the Sanctified Seventh Day of Rest (Genesis 2:1-3) with Him, sitting at His feet, communing with nature, with the animals that Adam had named; telling them stories of how he had determined what to call each one. Then telling of that fateful day when the enemy deceived them.

Try to imagine the Creator of the Universe, on the other hand, thrilling to the joy of mingling with the crowning act of His creation, mankind that He had made in His own image, and then to have to remove them from that pristine place and separate Himself from them, where He so wanted to be – with His people! The disappointment! The heartbreak! But, there was a plan. It was plan of restoration. A plan of reconciliation!

It is necessary to fast-forward past Noah’s flood, past the Tower of Babel that brought in more sin and degradation and self-worship. We need to go on forward beyond Abraham and Isaac and Jacob to the time of the sojourn of Jacob and his children in Egypt and to their captivity of 430 years to the mountain in the desert of Sinai where Moses was hiding out un-learning what he had been taught by his step grandfather the Pharaoh.

God confronts Moses veiled in a bush that burns but is not consumed. He tells Moses to go get His people out of Egypt. By this time, God’s people have well nigh forgotten everything they ever knew about their God and Moses resists the command. Who shall I say sent me? We don’t even know your name! But God had an answer for him:

“And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)

What depth in a name! I AM! “I Exist.” I fact, I am the only God that exists. (Isaiah 45:22) Over and over God repeats that premise in Scripture: ‘I am The Lord, there is none else!’ and ‘I am The Lord, I do not change!’ (Malachi 3:6)

So, armed with this Moses goes and brings Israel, the multiplied sons and daughters of Jacob out of Egypt and into the wilderness of Sinai. It is here that they must re-learn what and who God is and what their response is supposed to be. How is a God supposed to do that? A God who, to a sinful creature, is a consuming fire? (Hebrews 12:29)

Remember, these are people who have forgotten all about God. They do not know how to behave before Him. They don’t know how to worship Him. They have lost virtually all knowledge of who or what He is or what He represents. Now He must teach them all about right and wrong; teach them about His love and His justice; teach them just what sin is and what it means to be connected with Him and separated from him. He must teach them what it means to be polluted and what it means to be clean.

In the Book of Exodus, chapter 25 God calls Moses aside and tells him to have the people bring a freewill offering of all sorts of things going on for about seven verses. Then in verse 8 He tells him what these things will be used for and the purpose. This is what He says:

"And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8

A Sanctuary. It was a Miqdash; a sanctified thing or place; a hallowed part. For what purpose? Why did God want them to build Him a Sanctuary?

“That I may dwell among them!”

What a novel idea! If you want to have a people who had forgotten who or what you are to get to know you, and about you, why not live with them. This was, and is, still, God’s greatest desire.

The great question now is, how is He going to make it all work out? After all, He is the high and unapproachable God who cannot exist where sin is and vice versa, sin and God are mutually exclusive. So how is this going to work out? How is God going to dwell with this rag-tag bunch of slaves recently freed from Egypt? How can He teach them anything?

The answer lies in a Sandbox Illustration.

DLK