Thursday, September 16, 2010

God is bigger than our efforts

Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 25

Read: 1 Kings 7:38-16:20

Verse that stood out:
But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! - 1 Kings 8:27

It is human nature to want to do great things for God. People write books, develop theologies, create great mission societies, form denominations all for the purpose of bringing glory to God. Solomon built a magnificent temple. But the wise king knew that while God in his grace might make himself present in the temple, God could not be contained or reduced to the temple's square footage. God would always be bigger than and beyond the temple building. This would be helpful to remember for multiple reasons.

Remembering that God is more than the temple helps prevent turning the temple into an idol. Remember, the God of Israel forbid the formation of idols because he knew humanity's propensity to mistake symbols for the real thing. To reduce the God of all creation to a piece of wood or a chunk of silver, or even a house of gold is to lose faith in the one true God. Remembering that God is more than the temple helps prevent despair on the day the temple is torn down, as would happen in Israel's history - twice.

How often do we tend to turn our church or our denomination or even our particular experiences into an idol. We must remember that God cannot be reduced to such things. He may, in his grace, indwell such human constructions, but he dare not be reduced to them. We don't want to turn our offerings to God into idols themselves. Nor do we want to despair when those buildings made by human hands fall to the ground.

Let our hope be in the one that not even heaven itself can contain.

No comments: