Exodus 17:6 KJV
Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Long before Jesus lived with us on earth, God stood before Moses. The people of Israel were thirsty and in danger of dying. Striking the rock, as commanded by God, fresh water flowed to refresh and nourish the people.
Exodus 17:7 KJV
And he called the name of the place Massah (temptation), and Meribah (contention), because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord , saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?
Looking at the world today it can tempting to ask again – Is the Lord among us? Where is God in the acts of man in Syria, in America with its guns, in Venezuela with its corruption and collapse of society? Where is God in the acts of man in Britain with it’s homelessness, its food banks, its growing child poverty?
God cannot be in these acts, he never could and never will be. He wants to be in all our actions but only at our invitation. An invitation that John thought of when speaking about Jesus, as like a man standing outside a door and knocking on it, hoping someone was inside listening. Listening and able to open the door.
Revelation 3:20 KJV
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This doesn’t mean Jesus is shut out from our lives. This image John gave is only to emphasise how easy it is to engage with Jesus. To engage with the kind of life God wants to have. It’s as simple as answering a knock at the door.
Other key stories throughout the bible tell us that God is right beside. Just as he was when the Israelites were struggling in the desert.