We will not neglect the house of our God. – Nehemiah 10:39b
When all Judah was gathered in Jerusalem, the people swore an oath unto God concerning their obedience to his Law given by Moses. They outlined the conditions of their vow and sealed it with the signatures of the leaders, both civil and religious. The last thing they declared in their devotion to God was that they would not neglect the house of God, the 2nd temple.
During the time of the Exodus until King Solomon, Israel worshiped God under the tabernacle. From Solomon until the time of Jesus (minus the exile period), Israel worshiped God in the temples. After the resurrection of Jesus, God chose to make his temple within the bodies of his children. Thus, our bodies are the temple of God that is not made with human hands.
Just as the Jews declared they would care for the temple/house of God, we, too, should take good care of our bodies – the current, earthly house of God. When we consume junk food and refuse to exercise and do everything contrary to good health, we should not be surprised when we fall ill or succumb to disease as consequence of our bad habits. The Bible does say that physical exercise does have its place in our lives, albeit a small one.
Likewise, we should not neglect the physical buildings in which me meet to commune with other members of God’s family. Although the real “church” is the collective body of believers around the world, the “house of God” does mean at times the brick and mortar buildings in which we meet for fellowship and communion and teaching about God’s word. Whether it’s someone’s home or a congregationally operated place, the meeting-house for God’s people should be respected as well and maintained properly.
We owe it to our heavenly Father to live our lives in excellence, as much as we are able. How we treat our bodies and the places of worship where we gather speaks volumes to the lost world around us in regards to how and what we think of our God. If we treat God’s people and meeting place with contempt, then what will and does the world think of God? God doesn’t take pleasure in slothfulness or lethargy or sheer laziness. Have respect for your LORD and Savior.
Father, thank you for the people with whom I worship and call my family in you. Help me to be one who sparks a drive in my fellow believers to want to maintain their health by living healthy but also a healthy respect for your meeting place. Every week I go behind those that leave their trash and things littered all over the church grounds. It saddens me that there is such a spirit of carelessness and laziness among your people. It is like they don’t even have a reverence for the things of God anymore. Help me to set an example for others to follow. Thank you for teaching me a healthy respect for you, your people, and all that is yours or dedicated to you since I was a child. In Jesus’ name, Amen.