God Is With Us

Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.” Psalm 18:7-12 (NKJV)

Last week I started a devotional study of Psalm 18. If you missed the previous posts you can find them here, here and here.

When you look at these verses it seems that when God gets upset it’s a pretty bad deal. The earth shook, the foundations of the hills quaked, smoke came from God’s nostrils and a devouring fire came from His mouth. To me that sounds like God meant business. But the part that meant the most to me about this was something I had underlined in my Bible. “He bowed the heavens also, and came down…”

Think for a second how awesome that is. God didn’t set up in heaven and watch what was going on in David’s life. God didn’t dispatch angels to go and take care of what was going on in David’s life. God didn’t even set in heaven and command that something be done about what was going on in David’s life. God bowed the heavens and came down Himself to get involved in what was going on in David’s life.

During the hard times of your life, God wasn’t passively watching from heaven to see how things would turn out. God heard your desperate cries for help and came down to get involved. Can you possibly imagine anything better than that? The God of heaven cares so much about what is going on in our lives that He personally comes down and gets involved during our hard times.

When we came home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with Lizbeth I sent out an e-mail and asked those who had been praying to e-mail us and let us know. I kept all the e-mails and eventually will put them in a book for Liz when she is older. Listen to what my cousin Chuck sent.

Good morning Elizabeth-  This is Chuck Lancaster and I , my wife Linda, and church have prayed for you many times. Today I am praising God  for answered prayer. I remember the first time I saw you. You were in  your daddy’s arms and absolutely one of the prettiest babies I ever saw. I had driven from Ada to Oklahoma City in a snow storm, cars were in the ditch and center median everywhere. As I walked into your room I felt God’s presence in a mighty way. Your Mom and Dad were so calm and sure in the Lord and confident that He was in control and I knew then everything was going to be all right no matter what.”

I remember when we received this e-mail and I remember thinking it was pretty neat of him to say that. It honestly didn’t hit me until I was studying Psalm 18 how significant that statement was. It wasn’t just some obscure feeling that my cousin had. It was God. He had come down to be with us during that hard time of our life.

That God comes down and gets actively involved during the hard times of our lives is actually a fundamental element of the Gospel message.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 NKJV)

John goes on to say,

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 NKJV)

In the beginning was the Word, who was Jesus, and He was with God and He was God. As God saw what was going on in the earth, He recognized that we were in a hard time. We were separated from Him because of our sins and we were also doomed to eternal punishment because of these sins. He didn’t just set in heaven and say, “That looks bad.” He bowed the heavens and He came down to dwell among us to do something about our great need.

This is the point of Christmas.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:18-23 (NKJV)

Thank you Jesus for being our Immanuel.

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