Monday, July 22, 2013

Man's Preparation and God's Presence

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Sunday, July 21, 2013:  II Chronicles 4:1-6:11

11 And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves …), 12  … clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets— 13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,”  that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.  II Chronicles 5:11-14 (NKJV)

Immense preparations had taken place.  Solomon, following the instructions of his father David, had built an incredibly ornate Temple sparing no expense.  Gold, silver, and intricate ornaments were surrounded by oak, cedar, and the finest of tapestries.  Solomon completed the finishing touches and, in grand fashion, brought in the one element central to the entire Temple: the ark of the covenant. 

Then, a "God moment" took place.  God showed up. His glory came in like a cloud.  All man's preparations were met with divine presence.  The eternal met the temporal.  The transcendent, unlimited God inhabited a limited, specific location.  There are mind-blowing elements in this story.  Our understanding of God, man, and creation come into play. 

John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  The heavenly meets the earthly and the result is the glory of God being revealed.  That’s God’s plan.  It is what happened with Solomon’s Temple.  It is what happened in Jesus.  It is what we read happened in the Early Church in Acts 2.  And God wants it to happen in each of us.

There are two elements that work together in revealing God’s glory.  There is the human element and the divine.  From the human side there is PREPARATION.  We seek to give God our very best.  God deserves our best offering, not our left-overs.

But, when you have done your very best to prepare that which will bring Him praise, even then it is never fully enough.  GOD MUST COME.  He must fill the house.  Preparation is nothing without PRESENCE.  It may be a grand house, but it is nothing unless God Himself comes.

II Chronicles 5 is a vision of what God wants to do in the Church – and in your life.  He calls us to build with the best of materials.  We are to take great care to obey His building instructions.  He wants to then come and so fill the house with His glory that we are knocked out.  As it was in the days of Solomon, so may it be in our day – even better!

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