The Ark Comes to the Temple (1 Kings 8:1 – 13; 2 Chronicles 5:2 – 6:11)

Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and the heads of the tribes to bring up the ark to Jerusalem.  In the seventh month, they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and the furnishings.  The priests and the Levites brought them up, and Solomon, along with the congregation of Israel, offered sacrifices of sheep and oxen without number.  When the priests brought the ark into its place in the temple, the Most Holy Place, and left the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud.  Solomon reminded the people that the Lord had said He would dwell in the dark cloud, and that He had built God an exalted house, and a place for Him to dwell in forever.

Israel had worshiped by coming before a representation of God’s presence, the Ark of the Covenant, in order to make atonement for the sins of Israel.  However, the ark had been housed in a tent–albeit a lavish and valuable tent–and God now had a house somewhat befitting of His name.  The moral for us today is this: when we build a house of worship fitting for God, He will inhabit said house.  However, especially today, that house is not brick and mortar, or metal and sheetrock.  No that house is flesh and blood, and is mobile and fluid in the earth.  Rather than an ark with the tablets of stone upon which God wrote the Ten Commandments, this temple is filled with the worship of an individual or individuals who long for the presence of their maker and God.  Instead of a dark cloud, we now worship in the presence of the Holy Spirit who fills our hearts rather than a building.  No doubt, sacred spaces still hold significance in the church of today, but the temple of the Holy Spirit is much broader and less restricted in a society that is increasingly mobile as well.  Take Him with you wherever you go, and refuse to allow yourself to assume that He is not present and aware of your life and choices wherever you go!

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