Wednesday, June 19, 2024

God's Fullness

If you've read the Old Testament, then you know that the Temple (and the Tabernacle) were somewhat complicated designs. There was a courtyard, an inner place, a holy place, and a Most Holy Place. All of the accoutrement of the Temple had its specific place, exactly where it had to be, in one of these spaces, and entrance into these spaces was limited to certain classes of Israelites - for example, only the high priest was allowed in the Most Holy Place. 

And the Most Holy Place was the place where the Ark of the Covenant, covered by the Throne of Mercy, dwelt. It's where Israel kept the tablets that God Himself had written on, a sampling of manna from the wilderness, Aaron's blooming staff. It's where all of the most powerful symbols of God's promise and presence remained for all time. 

We are told, as well, that the very presence of the Lord dwelled in this Temple (and in the Tabernacle). We are told that He came in a smoke so thick that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. 

We are told...that His glory filled the Temple. 

This is so like God. This is exactly the kind of thing that He does. 

We are a people who are prone to think that if God is going to move into the Temple, He's going to move into His room. The Most Holy Place. Where the Throne of Mercy is. He's going to move into the place that is set up to be most suited for Him. And, of course, we live a lot of our Christian lives believing this, as well - that God is content to dwell in the space we have created for Him, the little room that seems most fitting for Him in our lives. 

But the Bible tells us over and over again that this is not what God does. The Bible doesn't tell us that God came to dwell in the Most Holy Place. It doesn't tell us that God's glory covered only the Throne of Mercy. It tells us that He came to dwell in the Temple and His glory filled the place. 

Every nook and cranny of it, overflowing even to the outside. So thick and so clearly present that you couldn't ignore it. 

And this is still what God does. 

He comes to fill this place. He comes to fill our lives. He comes to fill our hearts. He comes to dwell in a glory so thick and clearly present that you can't ignore and that's so clear to everyone because it overflows a little bit and just sort of...seeps out of us. 

He's not content to dwell only in the Most Holy Place, even if that is the place that looks most like His sort of thing; He comes to dwell in every place and make it holy. 

This is our God. 

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