Scripture: Joshua 18
Observation: After the Israelites finally control the Promised Land, they all gathered at Shiloh and set up the tabernacle, where God’s presence dwelled.
Application: I love the feeling of coming home. There’s nothing like visiting my parents house – the place I grew up and always call “home” despite not living there for the last decade – because I know exactly what to expect. The pantry is always stocked with Honey Nut Cheerios and the fridge with food, the coffee pot is always automatically set for 6 a.m., and there is always the faint smell of the local paper mill lingering in the air. (PS – It’s the grossest smell, but it’s the smell of home.) And I’ve noticed that the longer I’m gone, the more comforting it seems to be.
The Israelites must have experienced similar elation at the idea of coming home, a home they had only heard about, following generations of exile and wandering. They staked their claim – and then they set up the tabernacle, the place of God’s presence.
“Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle.” (v. 1)
At Shiloh, they found a home, a place to worship the One who was their home, their refuge, their comforting place.
Here’s the thing about home: eventually, you learn to carry it with you, no matter where you go. It’s not just a place; it’s a feeling and a certainty.
Generations later, God’s presence was no longer refined to the tabernacle, the formal place where priests met with God to sacrifice on behalf of the people. Through Christ Jesus, the veil was torn. His presence is now alive in us – whatever we do and wherever we go.
“And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.” – Romans 8:10
He made his home in us. We are no longer lost. We are not wanderers. We are free, and we are bound by faith to our loving, gracious, everywhere God.
Prayer: God, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus, for allowing us to experience your presence everyday, no matter where we are. We praise you today. Amen.