Thursday, December 02, 2010

Temples Made With Hands

Surely in temples made with hands
God the Most High is not dwelling.
High above earth His temple stands,
all earthly temples excelling.

Those lines from "Built on the Rock" have long bothered me. God does come to our churches. His preaching lays Him on our hearts. His body lies on the altar and is fed into our mouths. His blood washes over our children in baptism.

And yet, those lines from the hymn reflect Acts 7 and Isaiah 66. How can you argue with the Bible?

Pastor talked on Sunday how God had told David that his son would be the one to build the temple (2 Samuel 7:12-13). And his son Solomon did build a temple of cedar and gold. But his Son Jesus was the true Tabernacle, the true Temple, the eternal temple that could not be destroyed forever by Babylonians or by Roman soldiers. And when His body was destroyed, in three days He raised it up (John 2:19).

So God does not dwell in temples made with hands: rather, He dwells in temples made with His word. Our physical buildings are indeed His dwelling place -- but only when they are built by His word which flows forth to sanctify the place, the preacher, and the hearers.

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