Temple A Dwelling Place For God:
Recently there is this controversy and serious contention that crop up as regards to the issue of temple. Whether it is actually the place where God dwells or not. And many are of the view that it is a total waste of resources building a gigantic temple or edifice for God. The kind of temple or structure that has glorious ambience which represents aristocratic exuberance; masking the tag ‘place of worship’.
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This kind of gesture towards God is a no, no to some people. This is because the resources for such structure should be for bringing succor and solace to many lives. And mostly considering the fact that there is scourging economic hardship of which Christians are also experiencing. However, to many it is a welcome development and a great feat for God. The resources gulped by such project are not considered a waste. Because to them, it is all in a way to promote God and His work.
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Meanwhile, the question is, does God live in a temple? This question may sound very abstruse to many Christians but to some people who knows what, it is elementary. Those who do not know are fooled and those who are in the know are surprise because ignorance is in authority. Now let’s begin to dismantle the ambiguity in this question.
The bible of course will definitely be our resource here and things must be clearly demystified. From Genesis, it is easy to detect that anyone who wants to worship God doesn’t need any roof to do that. What is needed is just the object of sacrifice and a place possibly a mountain and his worship is accepted.
In Genesis Tent Was Not A Factor:
Interestingly, in this simple act of worship, God communicates with the individual. And he hears from God about his present life and future even about his generations to come. Evidence is there present in the bible, starting from Adam to Abel, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Job etc. None of these people mention here worshipped God under any tent.
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They erect an altar, the next thing, they hear from God and they work towards the revelation they got. See (Genesis 8:20, 12:7, 13:4 26:5, 33:20, 35:1). In Exodus, there was a paradigm shift because of the demand from the people to have a place of worship. And God yielded to their demand and then released a plan that includes the measurement of the building. The tabernacle they were asked to build is a replica of the one in heaven.
Therefore, it must be exact without variation. Question: Did God live or abode in the tabernacle built by Moses? We shall find out the answer later. Here, the tabernacle comprises of the outer court, inner court and the holy of holies. These three partitions of the tabernacle signify much but we are not going into that. This tabernacle built by Moses though a replica of the one in heaven was a mobile type.
They carried this tabernacle throughout their journeys in the wilderness. While in the wilderness, the presence of God was not really felt in the tabernacle. We notice the presence of God around them in the form of a pillar of cloud and fire. However, this tabernacle was a figure of the real to come. Please hold on this statement because it will make sense to you as we progress.
What God Needs:
Also we must admit that sometimes while in war, their enemies do seize the most revered object in the tabernacle. Yet God didn’t depart from them. The idea of building a temple came by a man called David. And God told him that he doesn’t need a temple from him. Actually, David knew that God doesn’t dwell in the temple and sacrifices are not really the demands of God. He specifically stated it that:
“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
This we should also hold on because it is very important in this our discourse. However, the son of David came and built a temple and named it after God (I kings 9:3). You have to understand that the temple is named after God, and it is not God’s. Just like a street bears the name of a citizen and is not the citizen that built the street. Sometimes the activities that go on in that street don’t represent the idea of the citizen though it bears his name
When Solomon was through building the temple, he dedicated it to God, and in a vision God visited him, see 1 King 9:2-9). This implies that God can do without the temple. And that is because the temple is not where He dwells. It could be recalled that this particular temple built by Solomon is very rich and costly in value. And that no temple or church building if you like, can equate it in value in this present time. Yet, God said what He said concerning it.
God’s View About The Temple:
Again notice that, in all of those regards, esteems, reverences, respects, buzzes and fusses about the temple, God made this statement to them.
“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?”
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This implies that God put a disclaimer on the temple which they called the house of God. Therefore, in real term it shows that God is not living in the temple and also at that time God was homeless. What God needs is not an artificial temple but a temple that is not build with human hands.
To be continued
About The Author:
Pastor Chukwuemeka Asiegbu is the pastor of Saved In The Lord Evangelical Ministry Inter’l. He has authored many books and he’s behind several online Christian articles.
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