And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.Rev. 21:3-4
Here is a beautiful promise from God. He promises his abiding presence to those who walk in the valley of the shadow of death. He promises his mercy to those who deserve his just wrath and judgment. It is an Immanuel promise (see Matt. 1:23; Is. 7:14; Is. 8:10). Jesus promised the same thing in what we call the Great Commission. “Lo, I am with you always…” (Matt. 28:20)
It is a comfort to know that the LORD our God is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9). But, why is this a comfort? It is a comfort because the God who is everywhere present also knows everything about you. (Psalm 139:1-16). He not only knows when you are sad or struggling. He knows the sadness and the struggle. He knows. He knows you in a way that is far deeper and more intimate than any possible relationship you can imagine. Now, there is the possibility that you may think, “There are some things I am ashamed for God to know! How ashamed I am that he knows these things about me that I would never want anyone to know! If he knows me that well…how could he love me?”
This brings me to the next beautiful thing implied in this passage. He is everywhere, he knows everything about you, and he is able to do what you cannot. We find comfort in God’s presence and in his knowledge because God is the almighty One. He powerfully conquered sin and death. He subdues us to himself. He conquers sin in us. He powerfully gives us life, raising us up in the victorious power of Christ’s resurrection. He is able to cover our shame. He is able to blot out our transgressions. He is able. He is all-powerful.
God is with you wherever you go. He knows all about you and your circumstances. He powerfully conquers and subdues us to himself. All this he does because he is not only everywhere present, all-knowing, and all-powerful, but God is love. He is with us in love. He knows us in love. He brings us to himself and conquers all his and our enemies in love.
At the end of our passage, you see the love and compassion of the almighty, everywhere present, and all-knowing God. Notice these things carefully: Every tear…no longer any death…no longer any mourning, crying, or pain. Do you see the connection? The all-knowing God, who knows all your sorrows, will powerfully wipe away all your tears. The all-powerful God will destroy all death (death itself and the consequences thereof). The everywhere-present God will wipe away all mourning, crying, and pain in every place. There will no longer be any of these things anywhere because God is all in all.
God is with us. God is for us. God is love.
May the Savior powerfully, lovingly, and at all times comfort you with these things.
Soli Deo Gloria.