Our God Now Invites Closeness

by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"A people near unto him"(Ps. 148:14).

The dispensation of the Old Covenant was that of distance. WhenGod appeared even to His servant Moses, He said, "Draw not nigh hither: putoff thy shoes from off thy feet"; and whenHe manifested Himself upon Mount Sinai, to His own chosen and separated people,one of the first commands was, "Thou shalt set bounds about themount." Both in the sacred worship of theTabernacle and the Temple, the thought of distance was always prominent.

The mass of the people did not even enter the outer court. Intothe inner court none but the priests might dare to intrude; while into theinnermost place, or the Holy of Holies, the high priest entered but once in theyear. It was as if the Lord in those early ages would teach man that sin was soutterly loathsome to Him that He must treat men as lepers forced outside thecamp. When He came nearest to them, He yet made them feel the width of theseparation between a holy God and an impure sinner.

When the gospel came, we were placed on quite another footing.The word "go" was exchanged for "come"; distance was made to give place tonearness, and we who once were far off, were brought near by the blood of JesusChrist. Incarnate Deity has no wall of fire about it.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and Iwill give you rest," is the joyfulproclamation of God as He appears in human flesh. Now He does not teach theleper his leprosy by setting him at a distance, but by Himself suffering thepenalty of his defilement. What a state of safety and privilege is thisnearness to God through Jesus! Do you know it by experience? If you know it,are you living in the power of it? Marvelous is this nearness, yet it is to befollowed by a dispensation of greater nearness still, when it shall be said, "Thetabernacle of God is with men, and he doth dwell among them." Hasten it, O Lord!

From Morning and Evening

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