Saturday, May 3, 2008

Where God dwells

Hi everyone: I've been off line for a while due to leading a retreat and other matters. Life. : )

I continue to read through the Life Journal and have been thinking today about God's promise to David in 2 Samuel 7. David decides to "build a house for God" because the Ark of the Covenant is in a tent made from animals skins and hair and David is living in a palace "made of Ceder". David's intention is good, he wants to honor God and to do something that will further glorify God's name. The prophet Nathan tells David it is good, follow your heart, that kind of thing.

Then God speaks to Nathan in a dream and tells him that David is NOT to build this temple. That will be for others to do. What God will do is establish David's lineage for all time. David becomes the once and future king -- the king through whom all others will come and by whom all others will be measured. When David learns of this he speaks this wonderfully humble and grateful prayer (2 Samuel 7:18ff).

The tabernacle (the tent where the Ark of the Covenant resided) was supposed to move with the people on their journeys. A Temple (permanent location) will be built by David's son and successor Solomon, destroyed, built, destroyed, built again and finally (AD 70) destroyed and not yet rebuilt. I find it interesting, historically, that the temple is destroyed just before God's people are on the move again. In a sense the permanent home is removed because a movable home becomes necessary once again.

I wonder, in our highly mobile society, if our church buildings, our shrines and permanent structures are more in the way and a hindrance to our worship then they are a help? When I was in Uganda last October I saw on many occasions that church buildings in the jungle were semi-permanent structures and were more functional than stationary. If the church needed to move it could move, if the church needed to relocate it could relocate, if it was time to plant a new church deeper in the jungle then a new tent was built and the congregation was planted.

How does the church of AD 2008 reclaim its mobile status?


Dr. B J

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