Solomon built God a House
‘My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.’
Central truthGod provides for the needs of his people
Solomon built God a house. A Temple created from the finest materials a place so magnificent that even the floor was overlaid with gold.
The ancient world was full of temples at this time. Huge buildings packed with idols, dedicated to any number of gods. Solomon’s temple was different because it did not contain idols. Instead it was filled with the tangible, alive presence of God.
The Temple was finished during the Feast of Tabernacles. A Jewish festival celebrating God’s creation, his love and care, his forgiveness, grace, promises and mercy to us. The feast (still celebrated today in the Autumn) remembers God’s holy dwelling place on earth, the desert Tabernacle – a mobile tent, much like the one the Jew’s lived in during their Exodus experience in Sinai when they received the Ten Commandments. A main characteristic of the feast today is the requirement of Jews to live in temporary shelters or booths in remembrance of God's protection, provision and care during their 40 years in the wilderness, throughout the weeklong festival.
It is not a coincidence that the first written example of the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is when Solomon dedicates the Temple he has built to God. After this God sends a lighting bolt from Heaven into the Temple filling it with his ‘glorious presence’ - a presence that drew people from across the world, Jews and Gentiles to come and worship him, to experience his glory.
The Temple was not God’s only dwelling place because no building, no thing can contain him. He is everywhere - omnipresent with us at every moment. Solomon knows this and says, "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house which I have built!" (2 Chron 6:27) But God chooses to dwell in the Temple, in the in the holy of holies.
To meet the needs of his now relatively settled people, he provided them with physical place where they could go to worship him and seek atonement from him. The Temple was a man-made place where the atmosphere between heaven and earth was thin, a place where God’s spirit could be felt and experienced. The temple and our church buildings today are not necessary because of God’s nature, but because of ours.
Where have you experienced the ‘thin place’ were the atmospheres of heaven and earth are very close?
How have you experienced God’s open eyes and ears to your prayers? How can you honour God today in the place that you are in?
Thank Him today for His provision and how He answers our prayers.