2 Chronicles 1:1–3:17, Titus 1:1–4, Psalm 91:1–16, 1 Corinthians 3:16
In today’s OT reading, Solomon builds a house for God, but he realizes that God does not live in a building. He says, “The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 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 Chronicles 2:5–6)
The temple Solomon constructed was large and beautiful. The people gave generously so there were no lack of supplies and workers. The workman did their best work and nothing was spared. Today, many places of worship are also large and beautiful, constructed from the generous contributions of those who use them. However, this OT temple is not a pattern or model for today’s church buildings or places of worship. In the NT, the Word of God says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
That is, God choose first to tabernacle among us in the person of Jesus Christ, then by His Spirit to live in His people. Yet there is a connection. Then and now, both dwelling places serve the same purpose — that we might use them to make offerings to Him.
In reading these verses together, I’m thinking how would my life change if I put as much dedication into this temple of my body as Solomon did into that ancient temple? How different would my thoughts, words, and actions be if I was entirely living as a sacrifice to Him? Because his temple was a place to make offerings before God, what kind of offerings do I make? Have I been as generous in giving to God as the people of ancient Israel were when the call came for materials and labor? Do I work hard and do my best for God?
The NT reading is a simple introduction to Titus, a letter Paul wrote to a pastor. In it, I see how Paul’s life was affected by offering himself to God. He wrote this: “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness . . . .” (Titus 1:1)
He was a servant of God and a messenger for Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of those who put their trust in the Lord. His life was focused on building up others, teaching them the truth, and ensuring they had what they needed to live a godly life. Certainly he used his temple as a place to make offerings to God!
I’m convicted by this. After two plus years of concentrated study, I feel as if I’m sitting on a shelf. I’m not teaching, leading a Bible study, or doing anything toward building God’s elect. I keep offering myself and all that concerns me to the Lord, yet haven’t yet heard from Him concerning ‘what’s next?’
The psalmist tells me that not only does God live in me, but I live in Him. “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:9–11)
He is my abiding place, my refuge and protection. Because this is so, I am protected and guarded. Instead of being antsy about doing something, or offering something, I ought to be totally grateful that He is taking care of me and all others who love and follow Him. At the same time, I identify with David’s desire to build a temple, and Paul’s desire to offer his life for the sake of God’s people.
Lord, I’m listening . . .