Exodus 25:8 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.”
The Hebrews exited Egypt, crossed part of the desert wilderness, crossed through the Red Sea, watched the defeat of the Egyptian army, and now had received the Law from God on how to live their lives in relationship with Him. Shortly thereafter, God instructed Moses to have the people donate precious items given them by the Egyptians for the construction of a holy sanctuary where God, Himself, could dwell among the people.
Thrice in the history of Israel, the people have constructed holy sanctuaries where God would dwell among them and live with His people. The tabernacle was a mobile dwelling, a tent, that housed the Ark of the Covenant and where God first dwelled. It was later replaced by Solomon’s temple and then Herod’s temple. None of these man-made structures survived. The temple replaced the tent, but the temples were torn down because of Israel’s sins. However, there is still a temple in existence where God still dwells among men – the hearts of believers.
Each time God accepted a place of dwelling among men, His Spirit came down to earth in the form of a fire and consumed the sacrifice offered up to Him in its dedication: once at the tent of meeting, once at Solomon’s temple, and in the form of what appeared as fire on the Day of Pentecost. The first two units were man-made dwellings, but the last unit, the bodies of believers, was made by God. Isn’t it fitting that the only permanent temple where God chooses to dwell among men is in their hearts?
Prior to the coming of Jesus and His death on the cross and resurrection, God could not dwell in the hearts of men because of sin. Now that Jesus has bridged that chasm, God can and does live inside His children. He truly is Immanuel – God with us! Let us praise Him for building the temple made without human hands one soul at a time, which includes you (if your His child) and me.
Father, Your principles and truths remain steadfast even in this day and age many thousands of years after the Word was written. You are timeless, changeless, and steady. I am excited to be a part of Your temple of believers. We are layered one brick/soul at a time, yet there are still many bricks to be laid. The brick piles are many, but the brick layers are few. I pray to the Master Builder that stone workers, like Bezalel and Oholiab, would be sent out into the construction field to build walls in the kingdom by layering brick upon brick as You select them. May I be found worthy to be a construction worker in Your eyes and used in the construction of the temple made without human hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.