In ancient time, during the time of Judges (Book of Judges), the Israelites had never-ending crisis of being oppressed and plundered by their neighbouring enemies such as Amalekites, Ammonites and Medianites. In those desperate moment, they cried out to God for deliverance and restoration from their enemies. Each time, God in His mercy, raised up a deliverer (judge) to defeat their enemies. As time passed after victory, they forgot about God and did evil (Jud 3:12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6, etc.). Then enemies began oppressing and plundering them again, and they cried to God and God raised another judge to defeat their enemies. This cycle repeated with God raising numerous judges; Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah/Barak, Gideon and others each time to deliver and restore them. They were earnestly seeking in desperate times but that was not the best. Unfortunately, they never learned the lesson of truly seeking God’s presence other than seeking only deliverance and restoration in every crisis.
Psa 91:9-16 If … you make the Most High (God) your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;..“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
The promises from Psa 91 of God’s protection, deliverance and refuge when His people dwelling (abiding) in His presence were evident when God gave them supernatural food as manna from heaven, pillar of fire at night for warmth and cloud by day for cooling because God was with them in the dessert (Book of Exodus). God provided them with supernatural provision and protection in the harsh environment.
So, which is better? Having a fish for just one meal or have a fisherman stay around to provide fish for every meal? Likewise, obviously it is far more better to have the Divine Protector, Deliverer, Provider, Healer and Restorer who is Almighty God to stay with us, more than seeking for protection, deliverance, provision and restoration.
So, how to have God dwell with us? John 14:23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Jesus’ answer was simple; love Him and keep (obey) His word. But only if we seek Him first and desire (even hunger) for His presence.