THIS IS THE THIRD IN A SERIES ON THE CHERUBIM
The first chapter of Genesis presents a panoramic view of God’s creative process, displayed in “days” to provide for a weekly observance of the sabbath. The sabbath is made for man and of high significance, but to understand our functional purpose as cherubim, we must dwell not with man’s rest, but with God’s.
What does it mean for God to rest? Surely, He has a place of rest outside His creation, but creation concerns itself with the physical realm. So, the question narrows to how does God, who is spirit, rest in His creation? We know this is His purpose. “For Jehovah hath fixed on Zion. He hath desired it for a seat to Himself. This is my rest for ever and ever; Here do I sit, for I have desired it” Psalm 132:13,14.
Within this Zion is a very special temple. As Stephen explains in Acts 7:48-49: “Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands: as saith the prophet ‘Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build Me? saith the Lord or where is the place of my rest?’”. John in Revelations saw no temple building in new Jerusalem, yet he heard a great voice proclaim “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men” (Rev 21:3).
What, then, is the nature of this tabernacle? God declares “Behold I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation. (Isa 28:16). Paul identifies the foundation as the apostles and prophets and the chief cornerstone as Christ Jesus, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together into a habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph 2:20-22). The cherubim, the Body of Christ, are this tabernacle, God’s resting place. John notes that in new Jerusalem “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev 21:22).
Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that “if a man love Me, he will keep My words and My Father will love him and We will come unto him to make our abode with Him” (John 14:23). This event had to await the resurrection. Evil spirits might make their home in unregenerate man, or even pigs, but God requires the perfect beings that we are in Christ.
The Old Testament contains references to the role of cherubim as the resting place of God, but they are obscured by most of our translations. The phrase “dwelleth between the cherubim” should be translated “who inhabits the cherubim” for there is no preposition in the following verses: 1 Sam 4:4, 2 Sam 6:2, 2 Ki 19:15, Ps 80:1, Ps 99:1, Isa 37:16. The Hebrew idiom containing the preposition ‘al (upon) is present in 2 Sam 22:11 “And He rode upon a cherub”. Similar ‘al passages are Ps 18:10, Ez 9:3, Ez 10:1,4,18. These verses refer to the anointing presence on His spirit upon His people.