One of the greatest, most comforting, and most repeated promises of God in His Word is,“I am with you.” God’s desire is to be with us, live with us, love us, and, as we say today, “do life with us.”
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth as a place to be with His creation. He walked among humanity and talked with Adam and Eve. When they sinned, however, the result was relational distance with God as they hid from His presence. Or tried to, at least. Because our sin as humans separated us from a holy God, He took the initiative to move toward us to be with us sending Jesus to take on human flesh (John 1:14). More than that, Jesus became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) so that we could be reconciled with God and be declared righteous to live in His presence.
One day, when He creates a new Heaven and new Earth, we will experience the reality that “God’s dwelling is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3).
Jacob was the first person in the Bible to hear the assurance from the LORD, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15). The LORD also promised to Jacob that He would bring him back to the promised land of his father, Isaac, and grandfather, Abraham.
“I am with you,” was a promise that God later repeated to Moses. With great fear, Moses asked God,
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” The LORD answered, “I will certainly be with you” Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites…and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:11-14).
God essentially said, “It’s Me. I AM with you.” The One who had promised to be with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was now with Moses and sending him to His free His people from slavery in Egypt and bless them in the Promised Land.
God’s promise, “I am with you,” was, also, spoken to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:6,8,23; Joshua 1:5; 3:7), Gideon (Judges 6:16), and Jeremiah (1:8; 30:11; 46:28). It was the promise regarding the hope of Immanuel (Isa. 7:14) and the birth of Emmanuel, Jesus (Matthew 1:23).
Finally, God’s promise of His presence was given to Jesus’ disciples and to all believers in Christ: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
The significance of God’s reassuring promise is that whatever we are experiencing, whatever we are going through, no matter the suffering or struggle, we are not alone. God is with us and He is for us because He loves us (Romans 8:31-39).
This is what the LORD promises,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you… I — I am the LORD. Besides me, there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-2,11).
When the LORD finally captured Jacob’s heart (following a night of wrestling with him in Genesis 32:24-28), Jacob led his family to remove the idols from their lives, purify themselves, and worship the LORD alone in Bethel. It’s there that Jacob could say, “He has been with me everywhere I have gone” (Genesis 35:2-3). God keeps His promise. He will always be with us. Wherever we go.
Follow me…as I follow Jesus Christ.