"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." (Psalm 90:1,2 NIV)
"Dwell" is one of those words you don't hear a lot in ordinary conversation.
"I dwell in a blue farmhouse"? Probably not.
But the word is so rich in meaning that it seems entirely appropriate used in conjunction with our extraordinary God.
The Old Testament Hebrew words translated "to dwell" or "dwell" mean "to sit" or "to remain" and convey the idea of a permanent stay. And oh, how I love the way these meanings are reflected in the light of Psalm 90: "throughout all generations" and "from everlasting to everlasting."
Dwelling makes me think more of being than of doing and more of security and steadiness than of an address or structure. God is our dwelling place because with Him, our hearts are truly at home.
But how do we actually "dwell" with God? I'd love to know your thought on this, but here's what I've got so far, based on what I know about dwelling in my own home:
- We spend time with Him. (It's hard to dwell in my home if I'm never there.)
- We confess to Him where we've missed the mark. (This is the house equivalent of wiping my dirty shoes on the mat at the door.)
- We show our real selves to him. (I'm very much my "real self" at home...sometimes to my teenage daughter's chagrin.)
- We feel at peace with Him.
Nothing I could write about that last point comes close to the gorgeous blessing God delivered through the prophet Isaiah. Dwell on this promise, sweet friends...
"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest...how blessed you will be." (Isaiah 32:18, 20a NIV)