The Lord is Near ~ Hymn 81

By: Steve Negley

Posted: October 10, 2019

Category: Daily Devotional

Devotions Based on Hymns from Glory to God and Their Scriptural Allusions

Numbers 9:15-16

There’s a longing among God’s people, from the Old Testament times forward, to spend time in the presence of God. That longing is sometimes embodied in Zion, God’s holy city. I have a similar experience when it comes to our church building, especially when it is filled with singing followers of Christ. There’s something about this “habitation” that makes me feel that God is close, even present.

Hymn 81 in the Glory to God Hymnal is based on Isaiah 33:20-21, but in the second verse there is a strong allusion to a description of God’s presence at the tabernacle (or tent of meeting) with the people of God as they wandered in the wilderness.

Numbers 9:15-16

15 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant;[a] and from evening until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearance of fire. 16 It was always so: the cloud covered it by day[b] and the appearance of fire by night.

The Israelites beheld fire and cloud and thought that God was there in their midst. We sense the Spirit of God in the singing and smiles of other gathered believers. And we “know that the Lord is near.”


God, thank You for the assurance of Your presence with us, and the reminders that You indeed are near, as we dwell together as Your people, and followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.