God Lives With Us The Temple and God's Glory

Psalm 132:13-14 - For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
God has always desired to live with his people.
Genesis 3:8 - Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
But man has often tried to separate himself from God. Rebellion isolates us.

Yet, God kept coming...

  • to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
  • to Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22 - Mount Moriah)
  • to Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22)
  • to Jacob (Genesis 32:22-32, esp. v. 30)
  • to Moses (Exodus 3:1-6)

God comes down on Mount Sinai

Exodus 19 - "Prepare yourselves. I'm coming to meet with you."

Why does God have limits put around the mountain?

God gives instructions to Moses

10 Commandments (one chapter)

Instructions for his house - the tabernacle (12 chapters)

Exodus 29:44-46 - So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.
tabernacle model
Exodus 40:33-35 - Then Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and altar and put up the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. And so Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

The Glory of God = the weight of God's manifest presence; how God makes himself tangibly known to us

Where God dwells, there his glory is revealed.

1 Samuel 4:5-22 - In the days of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the ark of God is used as a common tool (a magic wand); God's glory leaves Israel.

David desires to build God a temple. God gives David the design and tells him that his son, Solomon, will build it. 1 Chronicles 28:2-10

Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple (wide angle)
1 Kings 6:11-13 - The word of the Lord came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.
1 Kings 8:10-11 - When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.
1 Kings 8:22-24 - Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below–you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it–as it is today.
Yet Israel and her kings strayed far away from God and his temple.

About 300 years later, Josiah becomes king of Judah (at 8 years old).

Josiah repairs the temple, finds the Book of the Law, leads the people in repentance, then tears down all idolatry in the land.
2 Kings 23:25 - Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did–with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
Ezekiel the prophet foretells, "Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. Ezekiel 10:18-19

Jerusalem would fall. The temple would be plundered, then destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

God is faithful. He stays with his people, even in exile. He brings them back.

The returning Israelites begin to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and the temple (called the 2nd temple).

This is the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the time of the writing of the book of Chronicles.

This temple lasted from 516 BC - 70 BC. At this point, Herod made modifications and expanded this temple.

The temple was under attack from its first rebuild in 516 BC.

Nehemiah 13

Herod's rebuild of the temple in the first century BC

In 70 AD the Romans destroyed much of Jerusalem and the second temple.

The western wall of Herod's temple (2nd temple) is left today, known as the Wailing Wall.

How did the Wailing Wall get its name?

From a modern Jewish Rabbi (2013) - "Apparently, in other languages it became known as The Wailing Wall, due to other nations seeing Jews crying and praying near The Wall.... God is very close to us, but a wall is separating us from Him, and we pour our prayers and tears near that Wall hoping that he soon will reveal His presence to us and to all of mankind.

John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

How does Jesus reveal the glory of God?

Look through the book of John. Look for Jesus, find your Father. The glory of God shines through the character of Jesus.

John 14:15-17 - If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth.
John 14:23 - Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The temple will now reside within us through the person of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 - Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Revelation 21:3-4 - And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

It has always been God's intention to live with us. It started in the Garden and ends in the City.

In spite of our constant failures and divided loyalty, God remains faithful. He never forsakes us. He makes a way for us to live with him forever.

What can we learn?

God longs to dwell with his people.

God makes a way for people to come close and live with him.

Temple design and location is important to God.

God's glory fills and remains in the temple as his people keep his commands.

Temple maintenance (holy, healthy living) and temple practices (worship) are very important to God.

As Christians, we are now the temple of God. We are carriers of his glory. This is not just an individual focus. But, our community of Christians is the temple of God.

Holiness and worship brings the glory of God.

As we wait for that final day, continue to walk as the mobile temple of God. Do not neglect his temple. Offer the sacrifices of praise. Tend the fire. Walk in holiness. Your life will be filled with his glory - the tangible manifestation of his presence.
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