Encouragement

Can God Dwell on Earth?

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! - I Kings 8:27 

King Solomon, son of King David, had the privilege of building God’s Temple in Jerusalem. The OT teaches us that God would dwell in the temple in the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctum where the 10 Commandments were kept. Because God dwelled in that most holy place it was sacred ground. Only the high priest could enter it and only then once a year! When he did it was filled with smoke, so as to prevent him from seeing God; for an unholy person to look upon a holy God would surely mean death. When Solomon finished building the temple he prayed to the Lord and asked if God could really dwell on earth. In that prayer he also acknowledged how the temple would be a puny dwelling place for God. Solomon was right, even the highest heaven cannot contain God. When I read this prayer I am reminded of the miracle of the incarnation. Can God dwell on earth? The answer to that question is not found in the temple of Jerusalem, or any other building, but only in Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human. Christ is the true temple and dwelling place of the Lord God Almighty. In the manger God became flesh and “made his dwelling among us, full of grace and truth.” Is there more to know? Yes. “We now see through a mirror dimly but one day we shall see face to face.” But if you want to know God then look to Jesus. He is God’s temple and Emmanuel, God with us. Believe the gospel and be encouraged!

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The Temple or Palace?

It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace. - I Kings 7:1

The above verse is the story and struggle of our lives. King Solomon was the third King of Israel and the son of King David, the shepherd boy who struck down giant Goliath with a stone and a sling shot, and who also struck down Uriah the Hittite in order to cover up his tryst with his wife, Bathsheba. Ironically, the Bible refers to Solomon as the wisest man on earth and his reign got off to a great start but by the time he got around to building the temple in Jerusalem for God’s people to worship the Lord, chinks begin to appear in his armor. I Kings 6-7 tells us that Solomon built his own palace twice the size of God’s temple and that he spent twice the time building it. The reason this is the story and struggle of our lives is because we are constantly fighting an internal battle over storing up treasures for ourselves on earth or treasures for God in heaven. Because we are sinners we feel a strong pull to invest in things on earth where moth and rust will one day destroy. This is what Solomon did to his demise. Be encouraged my friend and let Solomon’s life serve as a reminder to you that where your treasure is there is your heart also. What do you love the most? The palace or the temple?

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