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CHAPTER 6 (ESV)
1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. …
11 Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”
- Although the temple represents God’s dwelling with Israel, God prefers not to be confined. Only if Solomon and the people of Israel live in a manner that involves this faithful “walking with God” will God live amongst His people.
- There are two ways of traditional understanding of God’s presence – the one illustrated above that God’s presence is dynamic and open; while the other: the temple or tabernacle, a fixed building is static and confining. The first way understands God to be wholly free and sovereign, interacting with humans in surprising and even dangerous ways. The second holds that God is fixed, enthroned in the worship space and life of the community, predictably present.
- Are church buildings as important to me and my church as the Temple was in Solomon’s time? Why? Is God’s promise to Israel (vv12-13) relevant to me and my church?
- How do I embrace both ways of the understanding of God’s presence, to live out the reality of the “Emmanuel - God with us life” in my daily life, in my faith community and in the physical church building?
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. (Ps 27:4)