4 Now I myself am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God in order to dedicate it to Him for burning sweet incense before Him, for [displaying] the rows [of the bread of the Presence] continuously, and for [sacrificing] burnt offerings for the evening and the morning, the Sabbaths and the New Moons, and the appointed festivals of the LORD our God. This is [ordained] for Israel forever. 5 The temple that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than any of the gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for Him, since even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Him? Who am I then that I should build a house for Him except as a place to burn incense before Him?
Observation: God can not be contained within a temple or any building, nor within our own limited understandings, doctrines, denominations, theologies, or theories.
Application: We have to understand that we are never going to be able to nail God down. God is not confined to our sanctuaries, he is not limited by our own understanding of him, nor even by our faith in him. The existence of God is not challenged by the lack of faith that we find so prevalent in our world today. Neither is his ways constricted by our own theology and doctrinal dogma.
Moses, knowing that names were powerful, and to know the name of a god was to have the power to invoke that god asked the LORD at Mount Sinai “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” And God replied, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” In other words, “You don’t get to have power over me Moses, you can’t know my true name. I have power over you, I will tell you what to do, and what to say, not the other way around.”
King Solomon, David’s son was granted wisdom by God to such a degree that he would be the wisest human to ever live. Only Jesus himself was wiser than Solomon. And Solomon acknowledges that even though he plans to build a magnificent temple for God, that this great temple is never going to be able to contain God. All the temple can ever be is a tribute, a place to offer sacrifice, and to worship the LORD, it is nothing more than mans meager attempt to magnify a God who’s glory is unspeakable and unimaginable. Although the temple could never contain God, it was an effort that God honored and by which was pleased.
We should all be building a spiritual temple, it is that place within you where you offer your own personal sacrifices to the Lord. It is a place of reverence and respect, and it is a place of worship. It is our own meager attempt to magnify God through our lives and our actions. And although we can never contain God within our spiritual temple, and we can never confine him within our own understandings, we can still honor him, and worship him. Although our personal efforts are nothing compared to what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, and without accepting that atoning work we can never find salvation, I still believe that through our efforts, and through our dedication in building our spiritual temples, God can be honored, and is pleased.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
Help me to work continually on building my temple to you in my heart. Help me to make it a place of peace, love, joy and faith. Help me to gladly offer you the sacrifices that you desire and which are pleasing to you. Lord help me to be understanding and loving to others, and grant me forgiveness for my failures and sins, and help me to truly forgive others.