The Lord’s House
If you or your descendants abandon Me . . . I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them (vv.6-7).
My local church finally moved into our own building. After more than 10 years of renting, our first meeting in the new building was a prayer gathering. The leaders of our congregation prayed that we would always be a people who seek God.
In 1 kings 9 Solomon had finally completed the building of the magnificent temple. For 400 years Israel had worshipped in the tabernacle—a mere tent! But Solomon fulfilled the dream of his father David—the dream of a permanent and beautiful place in which the people of Israel could worship their God.
At this important juncture in Israel’s history God appeared to Solomon a second time (the first encounter was recorded in 1 kings 3:3-15). There are two key lessons we can learn from what God said to Solomon at this significant moment:
First, the temple building—no matter how magnificent—is an empty shell without the presence of God. Its significance is derived from God’s promise that He would always abide in the temple in a special way. Therefore, His people could always count on His eyes resting on them and His heart compassionately responding to their needs (1 kings 9:3).
Second, the temple was nothing without obedience and faith. Every generation has to commit themselves to walk in faithful obedience to God, for the Lord will reject His temple if His people abandon Him and follow other gods (vv.6-7). The words of writer Gary Inrig can serve as a warning to us: “The first generation preached the gospel. The second generation assumed the gospel. The third generation lost the gospel.”
As we enjoy our church’s facilities this Sunday, may we remember that they’re to be used to draw us close with fellow believers in fellowship with God, who is present with us.
—Poh Fang Chia
How does your local church celebrate the presence of God? In what ways do you strive as a body of believers to draw closer to God?