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Relationship Between the North and God’s Presence

Hello everyone. Today we want to look at the relationship between the north and God’s presence.

 

When we were learning about the creation of the earth and it’s shape, whether it’s spherical as a ball, one of the verses we read was Job 26:7, which says:

 

He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

 

We looked at the statement about hanging the earth on nothing.

 

He spreads out the north over empty space, suspending the earth over nothing.

 

We had seen that hanging the earth on nothing is the same as saying there is nothing used to suspend the earth. We said that we would look at the issue of the “north” later, and that’s what we want to do today. Before we look at the issue of the north in relation to creation, let us first look at the close relationship we find in the Bible between the north and God’s presence. We want to do this starting by looking at things about the north in the temple that God had directed Moses that the Israelites to build.

 

Exodus 26:30-35. “And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain.

“You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim. You shall hang it upon the four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Their hooks shall be gold, upon four sockets of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil.  The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. You shall put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy. You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lamp-stand across from the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and you shall put the table on the north side.

 

We are going to look at the various colors a little later. Here we see that the north has been touched when designing the tabernacle based on how God had instructed Moses even though we still don’t know much about it apart from the fact that a table was put on the north side. But let us continue reading other verses to see what we can get.

 

Leviticus 1:1-2.

 

Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.

 

 

Let’s stop there for now to remind ourselves that this table was put on the northern part of the tabernacle of meeting, and now God is speaking with Moses from the tabernacle of meeting.

 We are going to skip some verses so as not to take too long as there are still many other places we are going to read. Now, let’s read verse 5.

 

He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

 

Here we find that the sacrifice was slaughtered before the LORD. Verse 11 tells us more about the place of sacrifice.

 

He shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar.

 

This verse tells us the exact place where the sacrificial animal was slaughtered, on the north side of the altar before the LORD.

 

Let us consider another thing related to the alter of sacrifice by reading Ezekiel 40:45 to 46.

 

Then he said to me, “This chamber which faces south is for the priests who have charge of the temple. And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar:  these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, who are the only Levites who may draw near to the LORD to minister before him.”

 

The room where the priests guarding the alter faced the north, and they were the only ones allowed to go before the LORD, they were the ones who stayed near where God or His glory was.

 

Let’s read Ezekiel 44:4.

 

Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple,  and I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. And I fell on my face.

 

As we finish looking at the north in relation to God’s glory, let’s read Ezekiel 8: 1 to 16 to hear the information found there carefully as we pay attention to the places mentioning the north.

 

In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, I had just sat down in my house, with the elders of Judah seated in front of me. All of a sudden, the hand of the Lord GOD touched me. And I saw a likeness comparable to the appearance of a man. From his thighs downward there was the appearance of fire, and from his waist upward, there was the appearance of brightness that looked like brass. The form of a hand reached out and took me by the hair of my head.  Then the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and sky, brought me toward Jerusalem, and in visions that came from God took me through the doors of the inner gate that faced north, where an image that provoked God’s jealous anger had been erected. All of a sudden, the glory of the God of Israel was there! It looked like what I had seen back in the valley.

Then he told me, “Son of Man, look up toward the north. ”So I looked off toward the north. Suddenly, off toward the north, facing the gate that led to the altar, the image that provoked God’s jealousy was standing near the entrance.

Then the Spirit told me, “Son of Man, don’t you see what they’re doing? The house of Israel practices awful, detestable things here, so I’m going far away from my sanctuary.  But you’re about to see things even more detestable than these.” Then the Spirit brought me to the entrance of the court. As I watched, all of a sudden, there was a hole in the wall! Then he told me, “Son of Man, dig through the wall!” So I dug into the wall. That’s when I uncovered an entrance!

Then he told me, “Go on through that entrance, so you may see the wicked, detestable things that they’re committing here.” So I entered, looked around, and there was every form of crawling thing, loathsome animals, and all kinds of idols from the house of Israel carved all around the wall. I saw 70 men from the elders of the house of Israel standing among them, including Shaphan’s son Jaazaniah. Each man held a censer in his hand. As the scent of the cloud of incense ascended,

the Spirit asked me, “Do you see, Son of Man, what the elders of Israel’s house are doing in secret, each in the chamber of his own carved idol? They keep saying, ‘God doesn’t see us. The LORD has abandoned the land.’” Then the Spirit told me, “You’re about to see even more detestable practices that they’re doing!” Then he brought me to the entrance of the gate to the LORD’s Temple, which faced the north. That’s where I saw women seated, weeping for Tammuz.  Then he asked me, “Do you see this, Son of Man?  You’re about to see even more detestable practices than these.” Then he brought me to the inner court of the LORD’s Temple. There, at the entrance to the LORD’s Temple, between the porch and the altar, were men,  with their backs toward the LORD’s Temple and facing the east, prostrating themselves to the sun.

 

We had earlier looked at some things in these verses, such as the fact that the 25 men had their backs turned toward the LORD, meaning they were looking away from the temple while they were facing the East, yet nowadays, churches generally are designed such that people worship while facing the East. However, today, we just want to look at the relationship between the north and where God’s presence is or should be in the temple.

 

We have seen that the north is related to where God’s glory is found. Are these mere metaphors without any truth in them or are they signs pointing to us the truth? Let’s continue reading.

 

Job 37:22. From the north he brings gold; around God is awesome splendor.

 

However, since many people say Job is a poetic book that uses metaphors, let’s look at another place in the Bible.

 

Isaiah 14: 12 to 14.

 

“How you have fallen from heaven, Day Star, son of the Dawn! How you have been thrown down to earth, you who laid low the nation!

You said in your heart, ‘I’ll ascend to heaven, above the stars of God. I’ll erect my throne;

I’ll sit on the Mount of Assembly in the far reaches of the north;

I’ll ascend above the tops of the clouds; I’ll make myself like the Most High.’

 

We had seen that while some Bible translations refer to Lucifer as the “morning star,” he is actually “son of the morning.” The “morning star” is Jesus, the way He calls Himself in Revelation 22:16. Apart from that, Lucifer wanted to sit on the mount of assembly on the north, above the tops of the clouds, to be like the Most High. Do you think Lucifer did not know where God’s throne was?

 

We said we would look at the various colors later, so let’s return to it. There is a phenomenon known as northern lights. Let’s read some information from the government of Canada’s website since Canada is one of the countries where the northern lights are seen. You can get this details from https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/northern-lights/what-are-northern-lights.asp

 

What are the northern lights? They are a spectacular, colourful display of light commonly seen in the night sky in the northern hemisphere... The following colours can be seen: green, dark pink, red, blue and purple. They can be admired on most clear nights from August to May in northern Canada.

 

There is a way science explains why these lights occur, which does not give glory to God at all.

 

 

We had read in Job 26:7 that:

 

He spreads out the north over empty space, suspending the earth over nothing.

 

The Hebrew word translated as “empty space” is תֹּהוּ, to'-hoo, which is also used in Genesis 1:2 when speaking about the formless state of the earth. When we combine these two verses, we find that God stretched the north from a formless place. Then Isaiah 40:21 and 22 tell us another thing about what was stretched.

 

“You know, don’t you? You have heard, haven’t you? Hasn’t it been told you from the beginning? Haven’t you understood from the foundations of the earth?

He’s the one who sits above the disk of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.

He’s the one who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in?

 

We had seen that the colors usually seen in the north are green, dark pink, red, blue and purple. In Exodus 26:31, we had read that:

“You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim.

 

Let’s add another verse that tells us how God’s dwelling place appears.

 

Revelation 4: 2 and 3. Instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven with a person seated on the throne.  The person sitting there looked like jasper and sardius, and there was a rainbow around the throne that looked like an emerald.

 

The color of jasper is brick red, sardius is as red as blood, while emerald is bluish green. According to Strong’s dictionary, in Greek, jasper is ἴασπις, ee'-as-pis, which means:

 

a precious stone of various colours (for some are purple, others blue, others green, and others the colour of brass)

 

So we find that jasper alone can be purple, blue, green or as brown as brass.

 

Sardius is σάρδινος, sar'-dee-nos, a precious stone of which there are two types, the former is called a carnelian (because flesh coloured) and the latter a sard."

 

The places we have read since we started show us that God’s throne is in the north. Now, before we end this presentation, where is this north? Could it be that God is at one end of the earth or world, being close to some countries while others are very far away from Him? This topic deserves its own study, so I just want to give you some food for thought.

 

North is associated with magnets. Each magnet has a south and a north pole. Many people are familiar with magnets where north pole is on one end while the south pole is on the opposite end. But do you know there are many magnets with the north pole actually at the center? Each speaker, no matter the type, uses a round magnet with the north pole at the center and the south pole going all around it, with coils of thin wires wound around a hard material vibrating between them.

 

It could be that the north that God stretched from an empty or formless place is at the center of the earth. This makes sense, considering that all people around the world will see Jesus as He returns, according to the Bible.