Solomon begins the preparation to build the temple, the house of the Lord. The plans that were given to him by his father David are magnificent and the materials are stunning in their costliness and beauty. The phrase “spare no expense” certainly comes to mind. But in the midst of all his preparation, in a letter to the king of Tyre, he acknowledges one deeply profound truth: “But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?” (2:6)
The temple, rather than a place that will “contain” God, will be primarily for the worship of God. It will be the place where the people come to make offerings to the Lord. He knew that heaven was the true dwelling place of God (1 Kings 8:30) but even heaven was not vast enough to “contain him.”
What was God doing? He was given his people a place to worship him and bring their offerings. The thought reminds me of Jesus statement, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) God is providing for man’s need to worship. There is no place in all of creation that can contain God for he is omnipresent — he’s everywhere. But that is not even an accurate description because God is never limited to a location (even everywhere) but is pervasive over all that is and beyond all that is. Don’t worry. It’s too big for us to grasp. Just think about it.
One day God himself will be the temple (Revelation 21:23). But right now the temple, the place of worship, is the Body of Christ, both individually and collectively (1 Cor 3:16 [you plural]; 5:19-20 [you singular]. So, as the people did in Solomon’s temple and as Paul exhorted, “glorify God in your body (the temple).”
Prayer: Father, the magnificence of the earthly temple of Solomon was perhaps the most beautiful building ever built, but it was not big enough nor splendid enough for even you. However, in the wonder of your grace, you dwelt among your people. Now you dwell in us. We are humbled and amazed that you would dwell in such a humble place. Help us to do what was done at that first temple. Help us to truly worship you in spirit and in truth.