But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! – 1 Kings 8:27
At the temple dedication ceremony, Solomon offered a long prayer to God. He opened the prayer with praise for God’s greatness and acknowledged God’s faithfulness in keeping and fulfilling His word concerning David and his having a son to sin on the throne of Israel and who would build a grand home for God. The temple would be the place where God would dwell among His chosen people. However, Solomon had wisdom enough to know and confess before God and the people who God is so great that no building would ever contain Him!
Solomon asked the wise question, “Will God really dwell on the earth?” The truth is that God did dwell on the earth in human form. His name is Jesus. He was also named Emmanuel, “God with us.” Then when He returned to heaven, He sent us the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit, who dwells in a temple not made with human hands. That is you and I! Thus, in and through us, God dwells on the earth!
Even though the heavens may not contain Him or some goatskin tent or even a stone and wood building, God had chosen to contain Himself in the confines of the human heart of those that submit their lives to Him, love Him, and obey Him. Sin is the one thing that prohibits God from dwelling in earthen vessels. As Solomon put it, God “[keeps His] covenant of live with [His] servants who continue wholeheartedly in [His] way” (1 Kings 823).
We should celebrate, rejoice, sing praises, and remain humble in the presence of Almighty God because He’s chosen to dwell among men and women and more importantly to dwell in us! What greater honor is there than being the temple of the Holy Spirit! It’s not because of what we’ve done but who He is!!!
Father, although Solomon was correct in that nothing or one can literally contain You, we thank You for choosing to be intimately involved in the lives of Your people. You could have remained aloof and disconnected from us save those upon whom You put Your Spirit. However, You chose to in-dwell in the hearts of those who continue wholeheartedly in Your way. You grace us and bless us with Your presence daily. Help me to do, think, and say only holy things so as not to defile Your temple. I praise You, God of wonders. In Jesus’ name, Amen.