Todays readings .. 2 Chronicles 5&6, Ezekiel 41 John 7
Solomon’s prayer in dedicating the completed Temple is detailed in today’s 6th chapter of 2nd Chronicles. What particularly caught our attention was that Solomon, after he “spread out his hands toward heaven”, and said, “O LORD, God of Israel … keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart” [v.13,14] and the need for “sons to pay close attention to their way” [v.16] that Solomon then attempted a wider vision and asks, “But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!”[v.18]
Can we in any way share Solomon’s perception of the immeasurable greatness of God? – Our perception of the Creator grows as a result of man’s increasing discoveries and awareness of both the endlessness of space – and the infinite smallness of things that can now be ‘seen’ with instruments that have been invented. There are now no limits it seems to the way “knowledge shall increase” at “the time of the end” as Daniel was told and we will shortly read in the 4th verse of his 12th chapter..
The Temple that Jesus went into “and began teaching”, that we read about today in John ch. 6 was the one built by Herod, centuries after Solomon’s was destroyed by the Babylonians. The “disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple” [Matt 24 v.1,2] but Jesus shocked them by saying it would all be “thrown down.” For about 1950 years there has been no Temple in Jerusalem – the area sits vacant – apart from the Moslem ‘Dome of the Rock’ – above what the Jews significantly call ‘the wailing wall’.
In Ezekiel (ch. 40-48) we are reading the detail of the vision he was given of a future and ultimate city-temple. The vision ends with the statement, “And the name of the city from that time on shall be, the LORD is there.”
When “the highest heaven cannot contain” the Creator of all there is, can a city in the ultimate future do so? Next month the book of Revelation will challenge our thinking and our ability to “imagine’ an ultimate time when “the dwelling place of God is with man.” [21 v.3]
Finally, let us consider what should “dwell” here and now! Paul told the Ephesians to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” [3 v.16] and told the Colossians to let “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” [3 v,16] May that be happening with all who read these words.