Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
Golfers draw line on their golf ball to indicate the direction of a putt. This line not only helps to show direction, it can be used to indicate our possession when our direction is faulty. Additionally, when we play an unfamiliar course as a guest, inevitably someone in the group will warn, “whatever you do, don’t hit it over there.” The wrong direction in golf usually leads to water, woods, sand, or housing communities. For some reason, we tend to blame other people when we go the wrong direction, i.e. “that’s what they get for building a house on a golf course.”
Direction is an important facet of our life. The wrong one delays our progress at best, but at worse, it injures us both spiritually and physically. God desires us to be strong – spiritually strong enough to serve Him and physically capable of ministering to others.
God’s direction has and will always lead to His son. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and centuries of bondage, God’s purpose was to move them into the direction of building of the temple. It was there God’s people could dwell with Him in harmony. His presence would be forever abiding. However, disobedience led to the destruction of the temple and the exile of the people. Notice any parallels between God’s desire here and in the Garden? He desires a close relationship with His children.
When we feel our direction is “off course”, it is because of our own wayward actions, desires and attitudes. If God cared so much for us to be redeemed, why would He not guide us into this “holy habitation”? When our motives are impure or our placement is erroneous, it is impossible to abide with Him in harmony as comforter and guide. It is like reading a putt from all directions and settling on a line, then deciding to go against it when we bring back the putter. We are lacking commitment and go against what we have gathered. Sin is the great divider between us and God.
When we were delivered from our bondage and slavery in sin by salvation through Jesus Christ, we became the temple in which He abides with us. His influence is strong and His direction is clear. Our actions and fleshly desires, however, hinder His influence. We will always be His children if the blood is applied to our heart, but sin hinders our relationship and direction. Just as with the Israelites, God’s hand is guiding us toward the place of close commune with Him.