Abiding in His Canopy
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Central to our relationship with God, and in fact core, is to know Him, and abide in Him. This goes beyond mere belief or acknowledgement of God, to the much deeper knowing in terms of an intimate, personal relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As we all enter in to this connection with God, through the grace He extends to us, we can perhaps gaining a fresh understanding of the Lord's canopy of glory as revealed in the book of Habakkuk in the Bible.
For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
To understand the depth of this knowledge of God, consider what the Old Testament taught us about knowing the Lord, and the key word in Hebrew used for this being 'Yada'. With these verses below we see the greater depth the Lord intended for us in our realtionship with Him.
Jer. 16:21 states, "Therefore I will teach (yada’) them--this time I will teach (yada’) them my power and might. Then they will know (yada’) that my name is the LORD”. Here knowing God comes from him causing them to experience his power and might.
Ezek. 30:8 states “Then they will know (yada’) that I am the LORD, when I set fire to Egypt and all her helpers are crushed”. Here, knowledge of God comes through experiencing his character of justice and wrath. This concept of “knowing that I am the LORD” occurs over 65 times in Ezekiel alone, indicating relational knowledge coming through experiencing his judgments.
Hosea 2:19-20 states: "And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in loving kindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know (yada’) the Lord” (NASB). Here one sees that knowing the Lord is a result of experiencing his righteousness, justice, loving kindness, compassion, and faithfulness.
Hosea 6:2-3 states, “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know (yada’), let us press on to know (yada’) the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth” (NASB). Here, knowledge of God is obtained through experiencing His reviving them and giving them rain. They would not know God, however, if they did not press on in faithfulness to experience his character. Knowing God comes from experiencing God’s faithfulness, mercy, and provision.
One of the most important passages in the OT is Jer. 31:34. It reads, "No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know (yada') the LORD,' because they will all know (yada') me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (emphasis mine). The word "For" here indicates that knowing the LORD comes about as a result of a person experiencing the LORD's forgiveness and his forgetting their sins. Knowing God thus comes by experiencing his grace.
All of these passages indicate that knowing God involves interpersonal experience with his character. God is allowing people to know him through experiencing his character. Knowing God, however, also involves our response to him. It is associated with one’s obedience to him (I Sam. 2:12; Job. 18:21), fear of him (I Ki. 8:43; II Chron. 6:33), serving him (I Chron.28: 9), belief in him (Is. 43:10), trust in him (Ps. 9:10; Prov. 3:5-6)12 confession of one’s sin (Ps. 32:5), and knowledge of the Torah or his Word (Ps. 119:79). It thus “involves not just theoretical knowledge but acceptance of the divine will for one’s own life”. We we also consider how this word Yada also described the Adam 'knowing' Eve, leading to the birth of their children (and indeed other such relationships in the Bible), we see just how this phrase is intended to go way beyond simple head knowledge of God.
The importance of knowing God, is clearly illustrated by Him, when Jesus Christ stated,
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
And yet, this knowing of Him is His heart felt desire, and by His love and His Spirit the Lord equips us to enter in to this relationship through Christ. So we see such passion and hope in the New Testament, such as reflected in the below verses.
2 Corinthians 4:6 'For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.'
Ephesians 1:17 'that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,'
2 Peter 1:3 'as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,'
2 Peter 3:18 'but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.'
As we enter in to Him, and by His Spirit truly know Him, learning to abide in the Lord's presence, we come in to this canopy of glory, and under the shelter of His wings. From this heavenly place we join with other heavenly hosts, and at the Lord's righthand, in Christ, we participate in the very throneroom of God, and become part of His covering over creation.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29)
So let us 'Selah', pause and wait on the Lord, waiting until we truly know Him, connecting with His heart by the Holy Spirit, and seek His face. From this place we enter in to His work of knowing the Lord.
The likeness of the firmament (canopy) above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads. And under the firmament (canopy) their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. A voice came from above the firmament (canopy) that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. And above the firmament (canopy) over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. (Ezekiel 1:22-28)
Acknowledging some parts of this post include extracts from one provided by Dr. Glenn Giles, an article that provides greater depth to this important part of our walk with God.